The collapse of clear chains of responsibility can be seen as one of the most important factors which pre_______ the company's bankruptcy.
It's not preceded, because that simply means "came before".
But I am looking specifically for a word that means
- laid the foundations for
- allowed X to happen
- set up
With a more negative (or at least neutral) connotation.
I guess this word can appropriately be applied to the constituents of any "perfect storm".