The CIPD believes the WorldCom crisis illustrates the need for HR to become
more involved in corporate social responsibility.
Last week the communications company announced that 17,000 jobs would go –
including 150 from its 4,000-strong UK workforce – after a US$3.8bn fraud led
to a massive slump on worldwide stock exchanges.
Chief economist at the CIPD John Philpott urged HR professionals to take
control of corporate social responsibility to ensure companies are not driven
purely by short-term shareholder return.
"It [the WorldCom crisis] has an implication on corporate
governance," said Philpott. "HR should be at the centre of these
issues. It must get involved with corporate social responsibility as some
frauds are linked to obtaining short-run shareholder return.
"HR has to concentrate on making employers look to the long-term and
treat staff better as that is the way to maximise long-term shareholder value
Philpott said WorldCom’s HR team must now work to change the organisation’s
work culture to rebuild the trust of both employees and shareholders.
"WorldCom must demonstrate it is now above board to employees,
shareholders and customers and that it can be a trusted organisation," he
"The HR team’s role is to step in where others have failed."