Assignment- How did the broader business culture in the US shape Enron’s corporate culture?

This assignment is all about carefully constructing, structuring, and communicating an argument. Thinking: Before you sit down to write, begin by drawing some connections between the details of the Aristotelian virtue ethics framework and the Enron story. We started this process in class, and I’d like you to build on that foundation.
You might begin by asking these questions: 1) What vices (and/or virtues) were exhibited by various actors in the Enron saga (focus on one or two people)? 2) In the broader business context, what makes those particular character traits vices (or virtues)? How do they fit into the broader purpose of business? 3) How did the corporate culture at Enron contribute to the development of these vices (or virtues)? 4) How did the broader business culture in the US shape Enron’s corporate culture?
If you need to review the documentary, you can find it here: (Links to an external site.) You might also find my lecture videos on Aristotle useful. You can find them in the Virtue Ethics module.
Planning: The next thing you need to do is plan your paper. What’s your THESIS? What claim are you going to try to defend (i.e., to convince your reader of) in this paper? What’s the story you want to tell? It often helps to write a rough outline at this stage in the writing process. Briefly summarize the story you want your paper to tell, then lay out the thesis you’re going to defend and the key claims you’re going to have to make in order to defend that thesis. Think about how to fit them all together into a coherent whole. One option for your thesis is to claim that a particular individual exhibited a particular virtue or vice for a particular reason. If you take this route, your argument will have to make three key moves. First, you’ll need to explain what the vice (or virtue) is and convince your reader that it really is a vice (or virtue) in the Aristotelian sense. Second, you’ll need to give some evidence that the particular individual you’re looking at exhibits this vice (or virtue). Third, you’ll need to explain how the culture at Enron or the broader business culture in the US encouraged this sort of behavior. (THIS is just one option…you are free to format the paper differently)
Consider an objection. Any good argumentative essay needs to consider an objection. You should make your argument (I say…), then consider how your opponent might object to the argument you made (One might reply that…). How could you respond to or explain away this objection? Don’t forget to do this in your paper!
Write: It’s finally time to write your paper. Using the outline you’ve made, work to convey your argument as clearly as you possibly can to your reader. You should assume your reader is not familiar with the philosophical terminology you’re using, so make sure you define your terms carefully! You may write in the first person, and you may use quotations from the text (though they are not necessary). In this essay, I am most concerned with the structure of your argument. Do the premises of the argument (the reasons you give and the examples you cite) clearly support the conclusions you are defending? Do you state those conclusions clearly? Is it easy for your reader to follow your argument? Read and Revise: Once you’ve written your first draft, you should read and revise your paper. Reading your paper aloud (or having your computer read it to you) is a great way to find grammatical and syntactical mistakes and to ensure that your reader can easily understand what you’ve written.
You may draw on any of the resources we’ve used for the class (assigned readings, lecture videos, supplementary videos, class discussion). You may also use outside resources such as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and/or published, peer-reviewed journal articles. DO NOT use random websites, blog posts, YouTube videos, etc. You MUST cite your sources. When you use any published material, including assigned readings, you must cite both the author and the page number (if possible), though it is up to you which citation style you use. Citations must be provided not only for direct quotations but also for paraphrases and for ideas you are using from other authors. LENGTH: 2-4 pages.

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