COMM 300 – Assignment 3 – Research Essay

COMM 300 – Assignment 3 – Research Essay


Assignment Subject Details

Communication Theory: Attribution Theory / Situational Crisis Communication Theory

Workplace Problem: Crisis Communication / COVID-19

Communication Theory/Workplace Problem Goals:

· My theory goal is to understand workplace crisis management and resultant employee behavior.

· My goal is to persuade co-workers to follow workplace safety protocols.

· My goal is to change people’s attitudes and behavior toward workplace safety.


Assignment Criteria

For your final project in this class, you will research and write a formal paper that uses a communication theory to identify, describe, analyze, and possibly resolve a real-world communication problem in your workplace. The project will be completed through a combination of discussion board activities and written assignments each week.

Objective: This final project is intended to help you understand how knowledge of communication theory supplements the skills you will need to succeed in their careers or personal lives. By completing it, you will achieve the following outcomes:

· Develop a research question on an authentic workplace communication problem

· Conduct a relevant academic literature review about a communication theory

· Explore your assumptions about the role communication plays in a specific setting in your life

· Exercise your critical thinking/analytical skills in researching and analyzing an authentic workplace communication problem

· Apply principles of communication theory to explain and recommend a potential resolution a real-world communication problem


1. Your paper should clearly state your position on, and conclusions about, the workplace communication problem that you posed in your research question. This means your thesis statement must be supported by researched evidence and reasons, including discussion of at least one relevant communication theory studied in this course.

2. It should be 5-7 pages in length (excluding cover page and reference page)

3. Employ at least 6 credible and authoritative resources, of which at least 3 must be peer-reviewed, scholarly journals.

4. Its ideas must be properly documented with in-text citations and an end-of-text reference list that conform to the seventh edition of the American Psychological Association’s style rules.

5. Specific information from your resources must be employed, properly integrated into the paper as direct quotes, summaries, or paraphrases accompanied by in-text citations that reflect the latest American Psychological Association style rules. No more than three of the direct quotes may be extended or block quotes.

6. Verify the originality of your content and the accuracy of your documentation by reviewing your paper’s report in your assignment folder. Revise the paper as may be needed to improve your use of quoted, paraphrased, and summarized information from the resources that you found in your research.

7. The sources may not include dictionaries, general websites, blogs, Wikipedia, or wiki-type materials.

8. Your paper must be carefully edited and proofread.

Format: The paper should follow the general APA manuscript rules and contain:

· an APA-style title page

· 12-point font

· uniform double-spacing between lines of text

· APA-style page headings

· paragraphs that are indented

· 1” margins

Content Guidelines:

I. Introduction

Begin your paper with introductory paragraphs that describe your workplace communication problem, state your thesis, explain the significance of your inquiry, elaborate on why this question is important to you, and include any other background information that would provide context for your paper.

II. Body Paragraphs

Summarize the communication theory you have chosen for your project and analyze why it is relevant to the workplace communication problem that you’re investigating. Explain how an understanding of this theory can be applied to resolving your workplace communication problem. Describe how you will try to use your knowledge about this theory to address and potentially resolving your problem. Support your argument with reasons and evidence from your researched resources.

III. Conclusion

Summarize the major points you raised in your analysis of your workplace communication problem and the applicability of the communication theory that you chose to identify, analyze, and possibly resolve it.


Assignment Citations

In-text Citations

(Charoensukmongkol & Phungsoonthorn, 2020)

(Coombs, 2004)

(Coombs, 2007)

(Coombs, 2017)

(Denner, Vierebl, & Koch, 2019)

(Ghanem, McCombs, & Chernov, 2009)

(Honigmann, Mendy, & Spratt, 2020)

(Institute for PR, 2007)

(Institute for PR, 2014)

(Lewis, 2016)

(McDermott, 2009)

(McDonald & Crawford, 2012)

(Thompson, 2019)


Charoensukmongkol, P., & Phungsoonthorn, T. (2020, July 21). The effectiveness of supervisor support in lessening perceived uncertainties and emotional exhaustion of university employees during the COVID-19 crisis: the constraining role of organizational intransigence. The Journal of General Psychology. doi:

Coombs, W. T. (2004, July). Impact of past crises on current crisis communication: insights from Situational Crisis Communication Theory. The Journal of Business Communication, 41(3), 265+.

Coombs, W. T. (2007). Attribution Theory as a guide for post-crisis communication research. Public Relations Review, 33(2), 135–139.

Coombs, T. (2017). Crisis communication. In M. Allen (Ed.), The sage encyclopedia of communication research methods (Vol. 1, pp. 291-293). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc doi: 10.4135/9781483381411.n108

Denner, N., Viererbl, B., & Koch, T. (2019). A Matter for the Boss? How Personalized Communication Affects Recipients’ Perceptions of an Organization During a Crisis. International journal of communication [Online], 2026+.

Ghanem, S., McCombs, M. & Chernov, G. (2009). Agenda setting and framing. In W. F. Eadie 21st century communication: A reference handbook (Vol. 2, pp. 516-524). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781412964005.n57

Honigmann, D., Mendy, A., & Spratt, J. (2020, June 26). Communications get personal: How leaders can engage employees during a return to work. Retrieved August 21, 2020, from McKinsey & Company:

Institute for PR. (2007, October 30). CRISIS MANAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS, 1. Retrieved August 18, 2020, from Institute for Public Relations:

Institute for PR. (2014, September 23). CRISIS MANAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS (UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2014), 2. Retrieved August 26, 2020, from Institute for Public Relations:

Lewis, L. (2016). The Application of Crisis Communications: Theory, Management, and Response. Ball State University. Muncie. Retrieved September 1, 2020

McDermott, V. (2009). Attribution theory. In S. W. Littlejohn & K. A. Foss (Eds.), Encyclopedia of communication theory (Vol. 1, pp. 61-63). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781412959384.n23

McDonald, J. & Crawford, I. (2012). Inter-organisational post-crisis communication: Restoring stakeholder confidence in the UK oil industry safety regime following two helicopter incidents. Corporate Communications: An International Journal. 17(2), 173-186.

Thompson, S. (2019). Attribution Theory. Salem Press Encyclopedia. Retrieved from:

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