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时间:2013-05-11 00:38来源:www.ukassignment.org 编辑:Selina 点击:
WorldComs efforts to integrate MCI illustrate several areas senior management did not address well. In the first place, Ebbers appeared to be an indifferent executive who paid scant attention to the d

WorldCom's efforts to integrate MCI illustrate several areas senior management did not address well. In the first place, Ebbers appeared to be an indifferent executive who "paid scant attention to the details of operations."16; For example, customer service deteriorated. One business customer's service was discontinued incorrectly, and when the customer contacted customer service, he was told he was not a customer. Ultimately, the WorldCom representative told him that if he was a customer, he had called the wrong office because the office he called only handled MCI accounts.17 This poor customer stumbled "across a problem stemming from WorldCom's acquisition binge: For all its talent in buying competitors, the company was not up to the task of merging them. Dozens of conflicting computer systems remained, local systems were repetitive and failed to work together properly, and billing systems were not coordinated."18
Poor integration of acquired companies also resulted in numerous organizational problems. Among them were: 
•  Senior management made little effort to develop a cooperative mindset among the various units of WorldCom. 
•  Inter-unit struggles were allowed to undermine the development of a unified service delivery network. 
•  WorldCom closed three important MCI technical service centers that contributed to network maintenance only to open twelve different centers that, in the words of one engineer, were duplicate and inefficient. 
•  Competitive local exchange carriers (Clercs) were another managerial nightmare. WorldCom purchased a large number of these to provide local service. According to one executive, "the WorldCom model  was a vast wasteland of Clercs, and all capacity was expensive and very underutilized. There was far too much redundancy, and we paid far too much to get it."19
Regarding financial reporting, WorldCom used a liberal interpretation of accounting rules when preparing financial statements. In an effort to make it appear that profits were increasing, WorldCom would write down in one quarter millions of dollars in assets it acquired while, at the same time, it "included in this charge against earnings the cost of company expenses expected in the future. The result was bigger losses in the current quarter but smaller ones in future quarters, so that its profit picture would seem to be improving."20 The acquisition of MCI gave WorldCom another accounting opportunity. While reducing the book value of some MCI assets by several billion dollars, the company increased the value of "good will," that is, intangible assets-a brand name, for example-by the same amount. This enabled WorldCom each year to charge a smaller amount against earnings by spreading these large expenses over decades rather than years. The net result was WorldCom's ability to cut annual expenses, acknowledge all MCI revenue and boost profits from the acquisition. WorldCom managers also tweaked their assumptions about accounts receivables, the amount of money customers owe the company. For a considerable time period, management chose to ignore credit department lists of customers who had not paid their bills and were unlikely to do so. In this area, managerial assumptions play two important roles in receivables accounting. In the first place, they contribute to the amount of funds reserved to cover bad debts. The lower the assumption of non-collectable bills, the smaller the reserve fund required. The result is higher earnings. Secondly, if a company sells receivables to a third party, which WorldCom did, then the assumptions contribute to the amount or receivables available for sale.21
So long as there were acquisition targets available, the merry-go-round kept turning, and WorldCom could continue these practices. The stock price was high, and accounting practices allowed the company to maximize the financial advantages of the acquisitions while minimizing the negative aspects. WorldCom and Wall Street could ignore the consolidation issues because the new acquisitions allowed management to focus on the behavior so welcome by everyone, the continued rise in the share price. All this was put in jeopardy when, in 2000, the government refused to allow WorldCom's acquisition of Sprint. The denial stopped the carousel, put an end to
WorldCom's acquisition-without-consolidation strategy and left management a stark choice between focusing on creating value from the previous acquisitions with the possible loss of share value or trying to find other creative ways to sustain and increase the share price. 
In July 2002, WorldCom filed for bankruptcy protection after several disclosures regarding accounting irregularities. Among them was the admission of improperly accounting for operating expenses as capital expenses in violation of generally accepted accounting practices (GAAP). WorldCom has admitted to a $9 billion adjustment for the period from 1999 thorough the first quarter of 2002. 
1Copyright  © 2003 by   Dennis   Moberg, Santa  Clara  University and   Edward  Romar,  University ofMassachusetts‐ Boston. Reprinted with   permission.   This   case   was  made  possible  by   a  Hackworth  Faculty   Research   Grant  from   the   Markkula Center   for  Applied  Ethics,   Santa Clara  University.
2 This   is   only  true   if   he is   liable  for the   loans he  was  given by   WorldCom. If he  avoids   those  somehow,  his  net  worth  may be plus   $8.4   million  according  to the   Wall Street  Journal   (see   S.   Pulliam   &  J.  Sandberg  [2002].  WorldCom Seeks SEC  Accord   As   Report   Claims   Wider  Fraud  [November   5], A ‐1).
3 Colvin,   G.   (2002).  Bernie   Ebbers'  Foolish   Faith.  Fortune,  146,  (11   [November   25]),   52.
4 Padgett, T.,  & Baughn,  A.   J.  (2002).  The  Rise   and   Fall  of   Bernie   Ebbers.  Time , 159,   (19   [May  12]),   56+. 
5 Padgett, T.,  & Baughn,  A.   J.  (2002).  The  Rise   and   Fall  of   Bernie   Ebbers.  Time , 159,   (19   [May  12]),   56+. 
6 Young,   S.,   & Solomon,   D.   (2002).  WorldCom  Backs  Chief  Executive   For $340  Million. Wall  Street  Journal  (February   8),

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