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WorldCom, communication barriers and its downfall.

WorldCom, communication barriers and its downfall.

WorldCom, communication barriers and its downfall.

I found it challenging to read this essay. I found it repulsive that business executives, who already make much money, are so avaricious and will stop at nothing to increase their wealth. The Worldcom crisis is a prime illustration of a communication barrier. In addition to immoral actions, unfair decisions contributed to the company’s demise. The fact that accountants were aware that cheques were being drawn for personal rather than corporate purposes provides a prime example. This unethical conduct ought to have been immediately reported. This bug would have been fixed immediately if Worldcom had the right policies and procedures, along with excellent communication!

Additionally, if Ebbers had hired auditors or other persons to ensure that all employees adhered to those policies and procedures, this may have been avoided. Invite a stranger to the workplace to see if they can get a clearer sense of what is happening. Bypassing “groupthink” or implementing the group’s ideas will be made possible for the organization.

The selective perception was the first roadblock I encountered while reading the CNN story.

In our book, we describe selective perception as “…the individual filtering of what we see and hear to meet our own requirements” (Carpenter, Bauer, Erdogan, and Short, 2013). Ebber knew exactly what Sullivan was doing but felt that since he was not doing it, he could not be held legally accountable. He ignored everything else and only spoke what he wanted to hear.

When Ebbers asserted during his testimony in his own defense that he “…knew nothing of WorldCom’s dodgy bookkeeping and that he left much of the minutiae of operating the company to underlings,” he was essentially contradicting himself (Crawford, 2005). Because Ebbers is admitting that he did not care or pay attention to what was actually happening around the organization, this obviously demonstrates the selective view. I suppose he adhered to the adage “Do not ask; Don’t tell.” He believed that he could not be held criminally accountable for what he did not know because the less he inquired, the less he knew!

The second obstacle

Filtering was the second obstacle I discovered. Filtering is described as “…information distortion or withholding to control a person’s response, and it might hinder members of an organization from embracing a whole picture of reality” (Carpenter, Bauer, Erdogan, and Short, 2013). Ebbers demonstrated filtering even though he claimed to be unaware of any wrongdoing. Regardless of whether Sullivan withheld information from Ebbers, it was Ebbers’ duty to make sure that adequate, effective communication methods were applied across the entire company’s presence. Ebbers made the decision to withhold information from his coworkers. Ebbers, like the accountants I previously described who withheld information, did so because he was aware that he was spending money that was not really his to spend.

As soon as I read this, I had a question in my head. How did they ‘disappear’ so much money without raising any red flags? Ebbers was held “…criminally accountable for misleading regulatory submissions” despite what actually occurred (Crawford, 2005). Although there were several factors contributing to Worldcom’s failings, a lack of coordination and teamwork was the tipping point.


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 important 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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