Stakeholder theory and the accompanying stakeholder concept has become a central idea and commonly used framework for understanding business ethics. The five mechanisms available to a leader to develop and maintain an organization's culture have been explained (Chapters 6 and 7). We can gain further understanding of why giants like Enron take ethical falls by looking at the roles various stakeholders may have played in contributing to the company's fall. This chapter is concerned with gaining greater understanding of the various stakeholders responsible for or impacted by Enron's ethical wrongdoings. In particular, the chapter highlights some of the focal stakeholders and their culpability in the fall of Enron.
An important key to a stakeholder approach to understanding the Enron or any other organizational situation is to recognize that an organization has responsibilities in their relationships with all stakeholders (see Chapter 4). These responsibilities can be categorized according to corporate social responsibility and classified as economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic.