The comprehensive examination is intended to test students’ knowledge in their primary area of concentration and the program’s foundational themes (Ethics and Creative Leadership).
Students are expected to demonstrate comprehensive knowledge; that is, the facility to engage a wide range of texts and the ability to draw on main ideas of important thinkers and writers in their fields of study, linking them together in interesting and relevant ways to other scholars working in the field.
In addition, students are expected to demonstrate depth of knowledge; that is, the ability to engage, critically and substantively, with texts that both respect and interrogate the students’ claims, positions, and arguments.
Finally, students are expected to demonstrate advanced academic skills, including (but not limited to) the ability to develop and sustain a line of argument that is coherent and supported with viable, text-based evidence, while writing clear scholarly prose.
The reading lists (see attached) provide a bibliography of sources you may have encountered in your Foundations courses along with the core or advanced seminars. The reading list is meant to serve as a guide as you prepare for comps. Students are encouraged to organize the readings from courses you have completed, and cross-reference the comps reading list. You are not expected to discuss every reading on the list. Instead you might focus on those texts you examined in depth in your seminars. You might also choose to explore additional texts on the reading list seem relevant for your research area of interest. As you review the readings, consider how they relate to one another. Focus on the scholarly debates and discussions present in the readings and position yourself as a scholar in these discussions.
You will write a 6000- to 9000-word response that concretely addresses the question within its larger historical, political, thematic, theoretical, etc. contexts and speaks to the identified foundational theme.
Leadership is a collective enterprise. It involves groups of people who have a relationship to each other and who have a purpose. These groups come in many shapes and sizes – businesses, communities, organizations, associations. Choose one type of group (nonprofit boards) and summarize what the literature on leadership offers in terms of the issues and dilemmas that groups confront. Describe how ethical and creative leadership differs from other forms of leadership with respect to these issues and dilemmas. Explain how at least one of the core themes of the Cohort PhD program – attentiveness to social justice, exploration and advancement of creativity, engagement of differences – are present or absent in these different ways of considering leadership and how attention to that theme would improve group dynamics.
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