Pursuit of Personal Interests Working Towards One Goal. Whose goal…?

As we learn more and more about what happened internally at Enron, I think it’s safe to say there are some pretty clear connections to the organizational structure there and some of the structures we are learning about in Scott and Davis’s “Organizing and Organizations.” Something that stood out in my mind in particular was the idea of a “loosely-coupled” organization and how it influences the behavior of the individuals within the company. What I took from their description of a loosely-coupled structure is that it allows for a higher level of autonomy, and that the goals and intentions of an individuals are not always in tune with the overall goal of the organization. The executives at Enron were essentially given free range (and unlimited resources) to carry out transactions that not even the CEO really understood. Rebecca Mark’s rampant adventure about the globe to gain as much of an international presence as possible was pretty much overseen by…no one. Andrew Fastow’s unmatched knowledge about how to tweak financial statements gave him complete autonomy and even authority where it was certainly unwarranted. These are just two examples among many of individuals at Enron being allowed to pursue a personal goal completely unchallenged (or enough that they weren’t stopped) by anyone else in the company.
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Sustainability:A New Loop-Hole

With the onset of our current economic crisis, people around the world have taken a step back in hopes of a better day. It seems to general trend of the world system; ride the highs, and reform the lows. This has been the pattern of the US for centuries. When lows come along, flaws in our ever porous system are highlighted and the areas in need of immediate improvement become all too apparent. These problems are either ignored or impossible to see during affluent times but once exposed, they are the most obvious loop holes. Continue reading