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WorldCom, communication barriers and its downfall.

WorldCom, communication barriers and its downfall.

Throughout reading this article, I must confess I had a difficult time. I thought it was disgusting that CEOs of companies, who make much money as it is, are greedy and will do anything to make more money. That said, the Worldcom scandal is a perfect example of communication barriers. Besides unethical behaviors, unjust decisions caused the company’s downfall. A perfect example was proven when accountants knew checks were written for personal use, not a business. This unethical behavior should have been reported right away. If Worldcom had the proper policies and procedures and effective communication, this bug would have been squashed immediately! Also, all this chaos could have been prevented if Ebbers had hired auditors or other people to ensure all employees followed those policies and procedures. Have an outsider enter the workplace to see if they can better understand what is happening. Doing this will help the organization bypass’ groupthink’ or follow the ideas set in motion by the group.

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The first barrier I found throughout reading CNN’s article was selective Perception.

Selective Perception is defined by our book as “…the personal filtering of what we see and hear to suit our own needs” (Carpenter, Bauer, Erdogan, and Short, 2013). In my opinion, Ebber was fully aware of what Sullivan was doing but felt he couldn’t be criminally responsible for it if he weren’t doing it. He only said what he wanted to see and turned his back on everything else.

Ebbers taking the stand in his defense, contradicted himself when he insisted that he “…know nothing of WorldCom’s shady accounting and that he left much of the minutiae of running the company to underlings” (Crawford, 2005). This follows the selective Perception because Ebbers admits that he did not care nor pay attention to what was happening throughout the company. He believed in a famous motto, “Don’t ask; Don’t tell.” The less he asked, the less he knew; therefore, in his mind, he could not be held criminally responsible for something he did not know!

The second barrier

 The second barrier I found was filtering. Filtering can be defined as the “…distortion or withholding of information to manage a person’s reaction, and it can prevent members of an organization from greeting a complete picture of reality (Carpenter, Bauer, Erdogan, and Short, 2013). Ebbers displayed filtering because he stated he had no idea fraud was happening. Regardless of Sullivan hiding information from Ebbers, it was Ebbers’s responsibility to ensure that effective communication techniques were followed adequately throughout the company’s footprint. Ebbers decided not to share information with his coworkers. As I mentioned prior regarding the accountants withholding information, Ebbers was also withholding information because he was well aware he was spending money that wasn’t his to be spent.

I instantly thought of a question once I read this. How did they make all this money ‘disappear’ without drawing suspicion? Despite what happened, Ebbers was found “…criminally responsible for false regulatory filings” (Crawford, 2005). Worldcom’s failures were due to many things, but the lack of communication and teamwork was the final push that caused them to go over the edge.

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Carpenter, M., Bauer, T., Erdogan, B. & Short, J. (2013). Principles of management (Version 2.0). Washington, DC: Flat World Knowledge, Inc.

Crawford, Krysten. (2005). Ex-WorldCom CEO Ebbers Guilty Faces long prison sentence after being convicted on all nine counts of accounting fraud. Retrieved from


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WorldCom, communication barriers and its downfall.

WorldCom, communication barriers and its downfall.

Communication and group dynamics are essential elements within the leading facet of the P-O-L-C framework. Read the following article from CNN describing Bernie Ebbers’ downfall as CEO of WorldCom: Ex-WorldCom CEO Ebbers guilty.

Based on what you read in the article, in your initial post, identify which two barriers to effective communication were most prominent within WorldCom and explain how these barriers led to the downfall of the company. Be specific and identify the communication barriers based on the information in Chapter 11 of your text.


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