Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics Theses

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

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Submitted to the Program of Organizational Dynamics in the Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania Advisor: Larry Starr


A theoretical analysis of contemporary organizational deviance focusing on the events and actions of former Chief Executive Officers (CEO’s); Bernard Ebbers of WorldCom, Incorporated, L. Dennis Kozlowski of Tyco International Ltd. and John Rigas of Adelphia Communications Corporation, are presented. This analysis incorporates the stages of organizational deviance identified by M. David Ermann and Richard J. Lundman authors of Corporate and Governmental Deviance: Problems of Organizational Behavior in Contemporary Society (2002). It also uses the tools utilized by David Chidester author of Salvation and Suicide: An Interpretation of Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple and Jonestown (1991) and H. L. Goodall, Jr. author of Casing A Promised Land: The Autobiography of an Organizational Detective as Cultural Ethnographer (1994) to interpret and understand deviant behavior within organizations. Current corporate practices for governing the behavior of individuals within organizations will be discussed and compared with similar practices presently in effect at the subject organizations. The standards for executive actions and behavior developed by Peter F. Drucker in The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting Things Done (2002) are used to raise questions about the deviant actions that Ebbers, Kozlowski and Rigas took. This analysis concludes with thoughts on whether the knowledge, use and implementation of these tools, practices and standards can reduce or eliminate the types of corrosive corporate crises carried out at WorldCom, Tyco and Adelphia.



Date Posted: 29 September 2010