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Critical Assignment Requirements

The aim of the paper is to analyze and diagnose a communication mishap (e.g., one time incident) or communication-culture problem (e.g., ongoing problem) within your organization (current or past). Students will analyze a personal example/experience of a communication mishap or communication culture that displayed the presence of at least 2 “non-courageous” communication factors: control (vs. collaboration), top-down communication (vs. upward), secrecy (vs. transparency), and impersonal communication (vs. engaging). See the following information for details on each section of the paper:

Assignment (

*The followiing headings are required. You are free to add additional subheadings if you wish


1. Narrative of the Incident/Mishap

Describe the mishap/incident/culture/problem. Provide a thorough narrative and analysis of the “non-courageous” communication demonstrated as well as the outcome(s)/result(s) of the “non-courageous” methods.

2. Examining the Non-Courageous Communication Factors:

Critically evaluate the evidence of controlling, top-down, secretive and/or impersonal communication strategies displayed in the mishap/incident (remember, you should have selected an incident that includes the presence of at least 2 of those non-courageous factors. Students should think of this section as an examination or “diagnosis” of these factors. How were these factors demonstrated? Were there organizational pressures or problems that contributed to the rise of these non-courageous factors? Please provide a thorough examination.

In this section, students should reference the course texts and additional scholarly literature (minimum of 2 scholarly sources in addition to the course texts in this section).

To assist with some ideas/examples for how you may examine and diagnose the mishap, consider the following ideas to get you going:

a. If control was present, perhaps you may diagnose the how control was displayed and the impact you observed.

b. If top-down was present, perhaps you may diagnose the obstacles to upward communication that exist(ed) or how/why leadership may have overly relied on this method.

c. If secrecy was present, perhaps you may diagnose the existing organizational pressures that may have contributed to the lack-of transparency and why secrecy may have become a norm.

d. If impersonal communication was present, perhaps you may diagnose what specific forces in the organization discourage(d) personal engagement and/or communicate(d) a lack of care for its employees.

3. Examining Leadership Factors:

What leadership qualities were notably absent from the incident and precisely how could the presence of certain leadership qualities have enhanced the communication methods/culture? Students are welcome to draw on their knowledge gained from the Literature Review assignment (though writing in this critical assignment should be original and not self-plagiarized). Please provide proper APA citations from a minimum of 2 scholarly sources in addition to the course texts in this section (these scholarly sources are permitted to be the same as your literature review assignment).

4. Ethical & Biblical Considerations:

Evaluate and discuss any ethical considerations and/or repercussions of the incident/culture. How does your personal faith and values inform your analysis of the incident and outcome as well as the changes you believe are necessary for improvement? In other words, to what degree is your examination of the mishap influences by your personal ethics and values?

5. Courageous Communication Alternative Outcome:

Drawing on your knowledge of leadership qualities and strategies for courageous communication, construct a comprehensive summary of what would have been a more preferable communication effort and outcome in this situation to achieve courageous communication. In other words, upon reflection,

what should have happened in this scenario


For example:

a. (Control) What would have needed to change for collaboration to have been enhanced?

b. (Top-Down) What mechanisms would have needed to be in place in order for upward communication to have been available and/or utilized?

c. (Secrecy) Explain some specific changes that would need to occur in order to encourage transparency.

d. (Impersonal) What specific actions would the organization need to take to ensure genuine care and engagement are nurtured?

Students should reference the course texts and additional scholarly literature (minimum of 2 scholarly sources in addition to the course texts in this section)

6. Reflection on Prevention of Mishap/Culture:

Lastly, reflect on what would have been some possible ways to have prevented this mishap in the first place. For example, are there better organizational practices that would have prevented this? Are there voices that should have been heard more clearly to steer communication and decisions in a different way? Could the implementation of specific leadership skills have helped this situation? Depending on your reflections, please formulate a communication plan for if/how you would express your discontent about the mishaps/culture, with whom you would communicate to, and practically how you would share your recommendations for organizational communication improvements. These corrections might be specific to the incident or they may be more broadly related to culture/norms. Students may reference the course texts and additional scholarly literature as needed.

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