Summary: Develop a 6-10 page research paper on a leadership topic of your choosing.


Purpose: The purpose of this mini-paper is to, (a) provide you with the opportunity to identify a current leadership issue of interest to you and of relevance in today’s workplace, (b) help you pull together information from various sources on the current approaches to your chosen topic, and (c) allow you the opportunity to think about how you might test your research question.


Topic: You are welcome to choose any of the topics covered in the course (see the course schedule on the syllabus for a list of topics).  If you prefer another topic related to leadership that is not covered in the course please speak with me for approval of the topic before proceeding.




Introduction: The introduction of your paper should (a) clearly identify the topic domain (e.g., ethical leadership) you have chosen, (b) explain why you have chosen it (answer the “so what?” and “who cares?” questions).  You should be able to articulate why this topic is of current relevance and how it influences the workplace. This is where you are “selling” the topic to the reader.


Review:  Your topic review should describe your topic in more detail.  The purpose of this section is to answer the question, what do we already know about the topic?  What relationships have already been demonstrated/supported. What methods are currently out there?  How effective are they?  Are there multiple dimensions to your topic?  Are there individual differences involved? etc.  


Research Question:  This is the section where you develop your question for research.  Combining the importance of your topic and what we already know about it, what question(s) do you want to ask (which relationship do you want to research).  You may develop specific propositions if you choose, or you may simply present a question or set of questions.


Format: The paper must be 6-10 content pages in length (excluding cover page and references), double spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch margins on all sides, and the pages should be numbered.  Headings are allowed and encouraged so long as their formatting is clear and consistent.


Citations/References: Your paper must include a minimum of 15 references (ideally more), all of which should be credible sources, including academic research articles (e.g., Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management), published books, or popular press articles (e.g., Wall Street Journal, New York Times).  Many of these sources can be obtained online which is perfectly acceptable.  However, do not include online sources such as Wikipedia and other unsubstantiated websites.  All source information (whether quoted or not) must be cited in text and in the reference section.  Anytime you are copying more than 3 consecutive words from a source, you must place the section in quotes and give proper citation.  Finally, excessive quotations will reduce your grade.