The first area deals with the focus of this course very directly: ethical leadership and ethics in leadership.
No one seems to doubt the important linkages of leadership and ethics. However, in recent years some
have questioned whether the relationship is simple: perhaps the relationship is like an inverted U, or
haystack. That is, as formal emphasis on ethics increases, above a certain level there may be decreases
in performance or satisfaction. These suggestions relate to increased stress or limited attention, not to
the desirability of ethics per se. Is there some truth to this assertion? Would it be true for all ethical
areas? Are there remedies?
Second, as the textbook clearly states, leadership involves two way influences. The influence of
follower(s) upon leaders has been neglected in research. It is now getting greater attention. What are
these influences? Do they involve ethics? What might moderate these influence linkages?
Some have asked about focusing in depth on a particular leader. This is fine. However, do NOT use a US
President, general, or admiral for this purpose. Again, and again, the overwhelming tendency is to over
idolize them. Leaders have warts too. Then, when these become visible, people imagine that there must
be no good in them at all. (As an example of this, you might look at recent articles on the BBC website
on the career and decisions of Winston Churchill.)
A business leader is the best choice, but be sure you can get enough information (even anecdotal) to
discuss and evaluate her/his style. Historical figures are oftenwell recorded and discussed, but you must
be careful in interpreting observations from another culture and time. Literary people often say that bad
guys are more fun that good guys. This may be true in leadership also. Non Western leadership also
remains a good area to look at. Leaders out of the mainstream - e.g., Indian chiefs, mob bosses - may
make good focal subjects.
Finally, let me humbly throw out one last suggestion concerning a source of topics. Failures of leadership
also make good topics. E.g., the world is now celebrating the centennial of the greatest failure of
leadership in history - The First World War. (There have been hundreds of reenactments and events in
Europe already.) Study of this colossal failure, and the subfailures behind it, continue to fascinate
researchers to this day. The events and leaders could be the focus of any number of fine papers.
Incidentally, these failures were not just political and military. The era was also ripe with practical and
moral failures in business.
Some time back it was reported that world leaders were using the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama
for offshore investment. There were immediate allegations of money laundering and tax
avoidance/evasion. While the real meaning of all this is still not yet clear, the issue does suggest some
good topics for papers. Yes, sometimes the bad guys seem more interesting. It would be simple to select
a leader(s) and write on possible corruption. This would make an easy, possibly exciting, but
nevertheless garden variety paper. A much better approach - focusing on the underlying patterns and
issues – would first examine what international dynamics put such large sums in leaders hands and
gravitated toward Panama. The paper topics then would view what and how leadership (and of course
leaders) could address the issue.
MGT 6615 Ethical Leadership
John M. Mankelwicz, Ph.D.
FORMAT FOR TERM PAPER
Prepare and submit a research paper, first screening it through Turnitin. Then post it to the
BlackBoard discussion board for week 9 by the deadline for the paper. Also, email a copy of the
paper to the instructor by the same deadline. There is a 5-point per day late penalty.
Prepare the paper using the American Psychological Association (APA) format; this format is
described in detail in the APA Publication Manual. Grading will stress content, analysis, and style.
Seek to creatively apply leadership theory. The paper work must be more than a mere review of
facts and articles. It must demonstrate reasoning, by applying at least three relevant theories and
models together to analyze the topic.
The paper must be at least three thousand words in length, not counting tables, figures, and any
(optional) Appendices; it must correctly cite and use at least 10 references, NOT counting the
textbook. ALL cited sources must appear both within the body of the text and in the References
list. NOTE: for an “A” grade, the paper must use articles from at least 2 respected journals or
books, such as those in the SUGGESTED READING list. Most of these periodicals are available
on line from the Troy University Library.
Here is a suggested outline.
ABSTRACT -- Limit to one page.
INTRODUCTION -- Short! Explain why the topic is important! Include objectives of the paper.
ANALYSIS -- Apply the models; make inferences, draw conclusions.
DISCUSSION -- Discuss the implications of your findings above, especially for managers.
CONCLUSION – Restate your conclusions and sum up, in about one half page
In choosing a topic, avoid shallow, insipid generalities (e.g., “the importance of leadership”).
Choose a topic of current importance that has not been already overdone. Also, where possible,
exemplify your concepts and conclusions by consistently referring to a single, real, focal leader.
(Avoid US Presidents and generals.) Here are some suggestions:
The burnout of leaders
Leadership, power, corruption
LMX in relation to other theories
Removal of leaders
Substitutes for leadership
Cross cultural leadership
Non-traditional - e.g., native tribes, organized crime
Purchase answer to see full