The Fragility of Organizational Trust: Lessons from the Rise and Fall of Enron

Recent headlines have been filled with stories about the collapse of Enron Corp. After its evolution in the 1980s from an old-style gas pipeline company to an aggressive energy trading and marketing leader, Enron filed for bankruptcy in December of 2001. Congressional hearings, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations, and lawsuits from shareholders, employees, and customers will keep Enron in the news for years.

Although there is plenty of blame to go around, perhaps the most important lesson from the Enron collapse is both the centrality and fragility of organizational trust.