Values and Ethics in Communication Behaviors

Describe how the scenario might have plausibly played out in the private sector.
This portion of the assignment asked for a discussion of how the presented scenario may have plausibly played out in the private sector. Consider a specific incident involving the private sector from either the pandemic or further back in recent history and analyze the results. Compare and contrast how it relates to Cpt. Crozier’s situation. This should be at least a paragraph of new content that examines how a business would handle a situation like this when compared to the military’s response.
Write a communication that effectively presents lessons learned.
Place yourself in the position of a leader in the military at a similar level as Cpt. Crozier and write a communication to the public affairs officer that conveys and re-enforces the primary lesson(s) learned from the incident on the USS Roosevelt. This should be at least two to three paragraphs that provide a detailed examination of how incidents like this should be handled in the future.

Values and Ethics in Communication Behaviors

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Ethics, Privacy, and Communication
Carl Genaflek’s company has merged with Regina Poincy-Zimmerman’s company to form RPZ Marketing. Carl continues to provide guidance to the merged company. Carl tells Regina he worries about social media marketing invading people’s privacy. Regina says, “Carl, you have a valid concern. All my employees receive specific training about respecting privacy and upholding ethical standards in social media marketing. We also conduct periodic reviews to ensure ethical guidelines are followed and that the privacy of clients and marketing audiences is respected.” Carl says he appreciates Regina’s diligence around these issues. He feels these are good steps toward promoting ethical behavior.
An organization’s values and adherence to ethical standards have a big effect on its success. Clients and business partners must be able to trust the organization to do the right thing. This week we examine how organizational values and ethical standards are reflected in organizational communications.
To Do List:
Assignment: Analyze ethical aspects surrounding a decision of the commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt to disseminate a plea for help for his Covid-19-stricken ship.
Discussion: Discuss the actions of acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly in response to decision of the Captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt to make a written plea for help to save his crew from a viral outbreak.
What You Need To Know: Read about ethics in the context of communication and research information relevant to the weekly discussion and assignment.
Prepare: Prepare to contribute to your ePortfolio.
Prepare: Prepare to use Kaltura for an upcoming assignment.
Assignment Overview
Analyze ethical aspects surrounding a decision of the commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt to disseminate a plea for help for his Covid-19-stricken ship, and write a communication detailing lessons learned from the incident.
What You Need to Know
Ethics and Communication
Communicating ethically is critical if we are to be taken seriously by our peers, co-workers, family members, and friends. Most, if not all, of us have been hurt by the words that have been spoken to us, whether intentionally or accidentally. As we know, the effects of the spoken word are long-lasting, mentally and sometimes physically. The lasting effects can affect our ability to function in daily activities. Therefore, it is incumbent on each of us to communicate ethically and tactfully.
The following resources are intended to introduce the interrelationship between ethics and organizational communication.
Tiura, A. I., & Domnişor, A. (2018). Communication ethics in audit. Audit Financiar, 16(151), 407–414.
Lucas, N., & Koerwer, V. S. (2004). Featured interview: Sherron Watkins, former vice president for corporate development of Enron. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 11(1), 38–47.
This article can help you understand the qualitative aspects of ethical communication.
Employees increasingly report ethical abuses to those in positions of power. However, when business and technology managers fail to proactively manage ethical issues, they risk employees becoming involved in whistleblowing. Whistleblowing is the disclosure of illegal and unethical behaviors to those who can do something about them. Reporting unethical behavior is a complicated ethical issue. Should the whistleblower report his or her findings internally and wait for results, or should the whistleblower go directly to the public? The answer is not simple. The decisions individuals make about either the knowledge of or participation in ethical abuses will not only influence their own career satisfaction but also directly affect the performance of the organization.
Latan, H., Jabbour, C. J. C., & Jabbour, A. B. L. (2019). Ethical awareness, ethical judgment and whistleblowing: A moderated mediation analysis. Journal of Business Ethics, 155(1), 289–304.
This study examines the relationship between ethical awareness and ethical judgment and how an individual’s perceived moral character play into the decision to blow the whistle on wrongdoing.
Activity-Related Resources
In this week’s discussion and assignment, you will examine the decision of Captain Brett Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt to send a plea for help for his ship that was stricken by the Covid-19 virus in March 2020. There are many resources available on the Web to conduct research to inform yourself of the issues that arose between the time of the initial communication from the Captain to the resignation of the acting Secretary of the Navy for missteps in handling the issue, and the subsequent fallout of these actions. You are encouraged to find your own resources, but here are some available options. It is important that you read both Captain Cozier’s letter and the transcript (or listen to the audio) of Secretary Modly’s speech.
Youssef, N. A., & Lubold, G. (2020, April 3). Navy removes captain of coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier; Capt. Brett Crozier, in memo, called for immediate attention to outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Wall Street Journal.
Welna, D. (2020, April 7). Modly resigns as acting navy chief after firing warship skipper and calling him stupid. NPR. Retrieved from
CNN. (2020, April 6). Transcript: Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly addresses USS Theodore Roosevelt crew about “stupid” ousted captain. Retrieved from
Gafni, M., & Garofoli, J. (2020, March 31). Captain of aircraft carrier with growing coronavirus outbreak pleads for help from Navy. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved from
Write Your Discussion Post
Consider the resources in the Activity-Related Resources section of this week’s What You Need to Know that pertain to the COVID-19 outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the spring of 2020. You will likely wish to conduct additional research on the incident.
In early April of 2020, Captain Brett Crozier was relieved of his command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt by acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly for a communication that he sent requesting assistance for the sailors aboard the ship that had contracted COVID-19. Secretary Modly subsequently addressed the sailors of the USS Theodore Roosevelt on the situation during a speech on its deck. It was a very controversial speech, which ultimately led to Modly’s resignation.
Discuss at least one of the following:
Your reaction to the removal of Captain Crozier from his command. Was it warranted? Was it wise?
How could Secretary Modly have communicated the ethical dilemma of Captain Crozier’s actions to the crew without demeaning the Captain’s personal or professional standing? Should he have addressed the ethical elements of the situation?
Explain whether the actions of Secretary Modly demonstrate an understanding of his audience.
What communication mistakes were made by Secretary Modly during his address?

Captain Crozier, Commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, wrote and distributed a controversial letter that pleaded for help for crew members stricken by the COVID-19 virus in March of 2020. The communication was sent to several recipients and eventually found its way to the news media. The situation became front-page news and was actively debated in the media. Senior leaders believed that Captain Crozier may have avoided his chain of command for fear that his immediate leader would suppress the issue and expose the sailors to unnecessary danger. His decisions and actions that lead up to his writing of the letter are fraught with ethical dilemmas.
In this assignment you are asked to analyze ethical aspects surrounding Captain Crozier’s decision to widely disseminate the letter.
Thoroughly research the issues using the Internet and the resources provided in What You Need to Know. You may need to conduct additional research to support your analysis.
As you can see by your research, there is a lot going on behind the scenes in this scenario. However, it is clear that the Captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt was facing a difficult ethical situation and tried to find the best way to communicate his concerns. There are many questions that likely come to mind, such as:
What was the dilemma facing the Captain? How might he have weighed his decision?
Should the Captain have sent the message? Why or why not?
Was the content of the communication appropriate, taking into the consideration the recipient(s) of the letter? Did he distribute the letter for maximum effect?
What should he have done differently?
Did the Captain violate Navy ethical guidelines? Are his actions at odds with communication guidelines? Is that how he should be judged?
Was his punishment justified?
How do you think his crew felt? Is that relevant?
Consider the Captain’s decision to send the letter, the manner in which the letter was sent, and the recipient(s) of the letter. Complete both parts of this assignment in a single Word document.
Part 1: Analyze the Scenario
Analyze the ethical decision that the Captain faced as it relates to how he communicated his plea and in the context of his position. Consider the sender, receiver, message, and channel.
Analyze the primary failures and successes of the Captain’s communication strategy. Make sure to consider how the letter was distributed, the Captain’s possible intent, and the content of the letter.
If this situation had occurred in the private sector and not the military, would the outcomes have been similar or different? Defend your reasoning.
Part 2: Write a Communication
Imagine that you were the commanding officer of another naval ship who had followed this sequence of events closely. Your ship’s Public Affairs Officer reports to you and is responsible for many of the ship’s external communications, and you are anxious to share your lessons learned from the USS Theodore Roosevelt situation.
Send a communication to your Public Affairs Officer that conveys and re-enforces the primary lesson(s) learned from the incident on the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Be sure you focus on the actions of the Captain. The medium is your choice, but it is also very important, so state the medium you have chosen within your message and the reason you feel it is the most appropriate medium to use. Address possible reasons such as confidentiality, tone, convention, et cetera.
Additional Requirements
Complete both parts of this assignment in a single Word document.
Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
APA style and formatting: Resources and citations are formatted according to current APA style and formatting standards.
Font: Times New Roman, 12 point.
Length: Part 1 should be 3–4 pages, double spaced, and Part 2 should be 1 page, double spaced. Page count does not include your cover page or reference page.
Cited resources: Use a minimum of three scholarly sources outside of the course text. All literature cited should be current, with publication dates within the past five years.
Scoring Guide
Your Work will be evaluated using this criteria.
View Scoring Guide
Competencies Measured
By successfully completing this assignment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assignment criteria:
Competency 1: Analyze business communication situations.
Describe how the scenario might have plausibly played out in the private sector.
Competency 2: Apply fundamental principles of organizational communication.
Write a communication that effectively presents lessons learned.
Competency 3: Analyze the interrelationships of communication within organizational systems.
Analyze the outcomes of a communication strategy.
Competency 4: Analyze the application of ethical principles in organizational communication.
Analyze an ethical decision as it relates to communication.
Competency 5: Communicate effectively and professionally.
Address assignment purpose in a well-organized text, incorporating appropriate evidence and tone in grammatically sound sentences.
Apply APA formatting to in-text citations and references.
submit your assignment
Prepare: ePortfolio
Your Online ePortfolio
Online ePortfolios serve two key purposes: (a) to support learning and reflection, and (b) to be used as a showcase tool. Your learning journey can be documented, and ePortfolios contribute to lifelong learning and growth through reflection and sharing. Online ePortfolios can also be shared with employers and peers to present artifacts that demonstrate your accomplishments at Capella.
Using ePortfolio to Prepare for Your Capstone
Your program may culminate in a capstone course. At that time you may be required to show evidence of your learning throughout the program by referring to multiple assessments that you have created. You will be telling a story about your learning throughout the program using artifacts you have collected during many of these courses.
Using ePortfolio to Build Your Career
As you are preparing to tell your story in the professional world, leverage your ePortfolio artifacts to demonstrate the knowledge and competencies you have gained through your program in professional conversations, performance reviews, and interviews.
To do that, reflect on the knowledge and skills you have gained from your courses and the elements you have put in your portfolio, along with how you have already applied these things to your professional life or how you might apply them in the future.
Next, create your story or talking points to tell your professional story.

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