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Deconstruction Leadership

The paper should synthesize and deconstruct the portrayals of leadership in 12 Angry Men and Dead Poet Society. Your paper should identify the theories of leadership and Aristotle’s prescription regarding the importance of rhetoric in how a leader should lead. See guidelines in this syllabus and the SL Learning Guide. Your paper should be submitted as a Word document in APA format through the Assignment tool.  Detailed information on criteria and grading for this assignment is in the SL Learning Guide, this paper should be between 4-5 pages.

Deconstructing Leadership (DL)

A habit of engaging in regular, focused reading is an essential component of the professional life of the “master.” As “masters,” we build on what we have read and digested. Our growing understanding of the literature (peer reviewed works in our field and other resources) forms the foundation for furthering the field through follow-on research, analysis, and writing.

Reading is not only an integral part of graduate education, it is essential for every leader. You must read to stay current with the leading edge of leadership thought. Lifelong learning is critical to your success.

In the SL program, you are routinely expected to find, read, analyze, and report on literature in support of discussions, papers, and presentations. This means you must learn to use databases, work with your librarian to effectively utilize library resources, master the basic and intelligent use of internet search engines, and take comprehensive notes. Comprehensive notes include all information required for a scholarly citation and reference, including page numbers for ideas and direct quotations. These are skills that build toward fundamental competency for the scholar-practitioner.

In addition to using material from these “literature reviews” to support all scholarly work, you are expected to produce two specific types of products for the SL program. The first is a comprehensive literature review and deconstruction of the literature that you will conduct on an ongoing basis and which will form a significant section of most project reports. The second is a DL paper that focuses on one or more specific books or papers.

The postmodern term “deconstruction” derives from the theories of Jacques Derrida, Jean Baudrillard, and others. In “deconstructing” a work, we do not take it at “face value.” We look for statements within the work that contradict the original premise of the work. We look for gaps, “holes,” and omissions. Having identified these, we may further analyze the work in the context of the literature overall.


For the DL paper, first read the material and take good notes. As with any reading, identify the major themes, points, or arguments. In addition, focus on identifying gaps, “holes,” omissions, factual inconsistencies, etc. If you are asked to read more than one work for this paper, do this for each work and compare the gaps, etc. between the two.

Second, find and read at least one other review of each work. Deconstruct each review, as well. Remember to make a note of the citation and reference information and incorporate these into your final paper.

Finally, use these notes to write a DL paper that includes, at a minimum:

  • A strong introduction that identifies the subject of the material and your thesis regarding the deconstruction (which you will probably need to insert after the paper has been fleshed out), an indication of the direction in which you plan to take the deconstruction, or both.
  • If you perform additional reading on deconstruction techniques, include a section explaining any that you use (again, be sure to provide the citations and references).
  • An evaluation of the book’s primary thesis.
  • A thorough analysis of the material presented with a focus on gaps, “holes,” omissions, factual inconsistencies, etc. in light of the leadership literature (this is the “deconstruction” itself).
  • An analysis of the apparent biases of the author(s).
  • Your impressions on the relevance of the book to the study of strategic leadership.
  • An exposition on how the theme(s) of this book could be utilized for application in the workplace, if at all possible.


Written reports must follow the current edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Each DL should be a minimum of four (4) pages in length, exclusive of the title page and references.

Last Updated on February 12, 2018

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