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Corporate Communication Crisis Leadership by Matthew Corr, Sarah M. DeIuliis, Ronald C. Arnett

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CHAPTER 6

Communication Ethics in Action

British Petroleum and Argument Thoughtlessness

The opportunity for argument materializes when an issue obtains and retains attention without appropriate response from organizational leadership. Argument construction occurs daily within organizational contexts. The 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster illustrates the necessity of communication ethics in action—ethics requiring thoughtful and reflective argument in response to emerging concerns. British Petroleum’s lack of thoughtfulness concerning preventative maintenance escalated into disregard for emerging arguments over public evidence. Heath and Douglas (1990) contend that involvement is key in sustaining argumentative interests. They claim that stakeholder ...

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