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The McDonough Center promotes research as one of its core activities. This effort contributes to the growing body of knowledge related to the study of leadership. As an emerging field, Leadership Studies has gained prominence in American higher education. Through our scholarly projects, we seek to add to our knowledge and understanding of leadership. Faculty and students participate in research at McDonough. In the past, student teams have worked with Harvard University on the “America's Best Leaders” project in conjunction with the U.S. News and World Report.

Student Research Opportunities:

Honors Thesis in Leadership

Many McDonough Scholars participate in the College’s Honors Program through “curriculum honors” (special honors classes open only to honors students) and “research honors” (the writing of an honors thesis). If you are a McDonough Scholar interested in pursuing a research honors project, please contact Dr. Alexandra Perry (, coordinator of the Leadership Honors Thesis Program, for more information.

Leadership Case Competition

The McDonough Center offers leadership students an opportunity to participate in Leadership Case competitions. The team is coached by McDonough faculty and staff. The student team usually participates in the Undergraduate Leadership Case Competition at the International Leadership Association (ILA) Global Conference. In the past, McDonough Scholars have competed internationally (Barcelona, Spain; Brussels, Belgium).

McDonough Faculty Research:

McDonough faculty have an active research agenda. Here are some recent publications:

Robert McManus and Gama Perruci, Understanding Leadership: An Art and Humanities Perspective,  Second Edition (New York: Routledge, 2019).

Robert McManus, Stanley Ward, and Alexandra Perry, eds., Ethical Leadership: A Primer (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018).

Gama Perruci and Sadhana Warty Hall, Teaching Leadership: Bridging Theory and Practice (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018).