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, or 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 finding 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.
In this assessment, 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 you can use 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 and subsequent fallout for his missteps in handling the issue. 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.
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 assessment 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 articles provided in Resources. 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:
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 assessment in a single Word document.
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.
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and scoring guide criteria:
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