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Case Profiles in Leadership and Ethics


Research and write a short paper (2000-2400 words) describing and analyzing a leadership challenge faced by a real-world leader in the realm(s) of emergency preparedness, homeland security, or cyber-security.

Choose a case that is easily researchable (well-documented in accessible sources or otherwise amenable for research)!

The paper should be structured as follows:
Introduction: Briefly present the chosen leader and the challenge as well as relevant aspects of the political and organizational context and any other background necessary to understand the leader and his or her frame of reference with regard to the issue being explored.

Situation and problem: describe the situation confronting the leader in detail and explain why it should be seen as serious leadership challenge for him or her.

The process and response: describe as best you can from the available materials how the leader went about making his or her decision and what was done.

The outcome: describe and evaluate the results and consequences of the action (or inaction) of the leader.

Conclusion: summing up the findings of the case study and discussing its broader implications with regard to leadership and ethics.
Sources (hint, it usually requires at least a dozen and sometimes many more substantial sources to do the assignment properly!):

Biographies, auto-biographies and memoires of leaders and others around them.
Journalistic sources (books, articles, news reports, documentaries etc.) Opinion
journalism (op eds, editorials, more partisan reporting etc.) may be used as well, but
carefully (!) and with due consciousness of potential bias/partisanship.
Academic articles by historians, political scientists, psychologists, sociologists,
philosophers and other relevant disciplines.
Statements to the media (e.g. texts or recordings of media interviews, press briefings or
conferences etc) and social media posts/threads/debates.
Legal documents (e.g. testimony from court proceedings)

Grading criteria for this assignment.
Case selection (contains a genuine leadership challenge and/or ethical dilemma.)
Structure of the paper, ability to follow directions,
Quality of writing and argument.
Quality of research (especially selection, critical use, and referencing of sources). Use an
established referencing system such as APA and reference all sources including course
literature and materials.
Leadership and ethical analysis drawing explicitly on the readings for this course.

Grading Rubric
A range paper: Follows directions, provides well developed and thoughtful responses to all assigned sub-tasks, well written, well structured, carefully argued and reasoned, draws on a wide range of highly relevant perspectives and concepts from the course readings, uses a substantial number of well-chosen empirical sources critically, provides convincing evidence for key or contested points, addresses possible counter arguments, demonstrates good style and citation technique.
B range paper: Follows directions for the most part, provides substantially and relatively evenly developed answers to all or most of the subtasks, draws on multiple relevant perspectives and concepts from the readings, uses an adequate number of empirical sources in a competent and reasonably source-critical fashion, exhibits adequate style and citation technique. May exhibit minor lapses regarding several of the above.
C range paper: Represents significant effort to answer the question, but exhibits serious lapses in one or more areas such as following directions, underdeveloped or uneven answers to several of the sub-tasks, draws narrowly, indirectly or imprecisely/incorrectly on course readings, significant gaps or irrelevancies in argumentation, empirically sourced but narrowly, uncritically or weakly, significant lapses of structure, style, citation technique etc.
D range paper: Exhibits more serious lapses of the kinds outlined above for C range, but at least partially addresses the assigned task and/or several key sub-tasks..
F paper: Does not effectively address the assigned task/subtasks, does not demonstrate significant effort, does not demonstrate command of and ability to apply perspectives and concepts from the course reading, poorly argued, poorly sourced, and poorly crafted.

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