The temptation of Houston: A case study of financialisation

Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, Viken Papazian, Karel Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper provides a political economy analysis of the events around the collapse of Enron, using two, related approaches. First, it analyses Enron as an economic case of corporate failure that illustrates the processes of financialisation in present day capitalism. This requires an understanding of how Enron's mediocre operating performance was increasingly unrelated to the representation of the company in media and academic accounts. Second, it analyses the political context around the company in a way that connects Enron with a political web of interests and power and demonstrates how Enron created the business opportunities that sustained its image and share price. Through these analyses, the paper argues that Enron's collapse was not simply the result of a failure of governance, as many have supposed and, therefore, that governance reforms alone cannot easily prevent similar kinds of scandals. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)885-909
Number of pages24
JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
Issue number6-7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


  • Business culture
  • Business model
  • Corporate governance
  • Enron
  • Financialisation
  • New economy
  • Political economy
  • Power elite
  • Shareholder value
  • Strategy


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