Enron and the 12 steps of white-collar crime

Randy Appel*, Jae Fratzl, Ruth B. McKay, Carey Stevens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In 2001, Enron Corporation (Enron) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to accounting irregularities. At the core of the failure was a corporate culture that held in contempt regulatory oversight, financial disclosure and the governance process. This paper applies a 12-step model of white-collar crime (McKay et al., 2010) to the case of Enron. The analysis is based on an interview with Sherron Watkins, whistleblower and former employee of Enron, as well as other coverage of the Enron collapse. This paper presents the value of the model as applied to a single organisation and makes recommendations based on the application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-405
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Business Governance and Ethics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Enron
  • Ethics
  • White-collar crime

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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