Research Component (This is everything that was given to me, it is broad enough to find a good topic, but stay away from US Presidents) ** Do not use historical figures due to timeline difference.
Research paper on an ethical leadership topic. Must be at least 3000 words, not counting tables, figures, and (optional) Appendix. Cite books, journal articles, online sources, and misc. material. Use the APA Publication Manual format and follow instructions under Course Materials.
A topic should be thoughtful and not overly general. The paper must be in full APA format, clearly applying at least three theories from the course and contain good references.
1. The biggest story was the announcement 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 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.
2. The second story was the 40th anniversary of Apple computer, which may indeed be the most influential tech company.- itself a leader in various markets. The history of this company has been jagged, to say the least. While the name Steve Jobs has come to dominate thinking on Apple, the story involves much more than that. There are many timely term paper topics here.
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 often well 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.
Let me throw out two general areas, both drawing a GREAT DEAL of interest at this time. You should be able to formulate a very interesting paper from either of these areas very nicely. Either one might be fruitfully pursued with or without stress on a focal leader. These could be papers of true excellence! 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 actually 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 theses influences? Do they involve ethics? What might moderate these influence linkages?