An investigation into corporate governance and the fall of Enron

Corbellari, Max (2004-03)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.


The Study Project is entitled: "Corporate Governance and the fall of Enron", Concepts like corporate government have been developed and created due to needs of owners and society to supervise management but more importantly influence the direction of companies. The term "corporate governance" derives from an analogy between the governments of cities, nations or states and the governance of corporations. The early corporate finance textbooks saw "representative government" (Mead 1922:31) as an important advantage of the corporation over partnerships but there has been and still is little agreement on how representative corporate governance really is, or whom it should represent. The analogy between corporate and political voting was explicit in early corporate charters and writings, dating back to the revolutionary origins of the American corporation and the first railway corporations in Germany (Dunlavy 1998). The precise term "corporate governance" itself seems to have been used first by Richard Eells (1960, p.l08), to denote "the structure and functioning of the corporate polity". An important objective of this Study Project was to investigate the case study of Enron, why it failed and the outcome relating to Corporate Governance in the future. A review of the activities by Enron was done in order to determine the possible reasons of its failure. To achieve the above, it was determined that qualitative, investigative research would be conducted, rather than a quantitative, numerative approach. The research methodology used in this Study Project of a secondary research. Secondary research, in the form of an in-depth, global literature review was conducted on the topic.

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