Enron has become synonymous with corporate scandal. One of the largest bankruptcies in U.S. history, Enron went from being the seventh largest publicly held corporation in the United States in August 2000 to filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2001. Explanations of this disaster have pointed almost unequivocally to the failings of Enron’s executives and the organizational culture they promoted. To understand more fully the mechanisms by which Enron’s executives led this organization to its demise, and to ascertain some principles through which future such disasters can be avoided, this entry examines the unfolding of events through the lens of ethical sensemaking.

Ethical Sensemaking

Sensemaking refers to a set of cognitive processes by which people “make sense of” or try to understand complex and ambiguous events that ...

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