Leadership Program

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Thesis Option C — Case Study: Applied Theory Thesis


  1. Identify a case that involves at least 5 decision points/problems/issues.
  2. Determine the short term and long term problems or issues involved in the case.
  3. Reflect upon the premises in your thinking leading up to these problem definitions and provide a minimum of three scholarly references for each of your premises.
  4. Discuss multiple solutions for both the short and long term scenarios.
  5. Select the top three solutions for both short and long term implementation and provide any research references that justify your solutions.
  6. Select an alternative of choice for each of the short and long term problems and delineate the steps of implementation.
  7. Discuss the rationale for these alternative choices, including reference and citation of leading theorists who would support your choices.
  8. Develop contingency plans in the event any of the solutions or alternative choices fails to correct the problems or a new problem is generated by their implementation.
  9. This option may be submitted as a written document with a panel review by your thesis advisor, second reader and third faculty member or a formal oral presentation to your thesis advisor and second reader with a complete annotated bibliography and written abstract (minimum of 5 pages).

Thesis Template

  1. Provide a detailed description of the case context.
  2. Identify 5 critical issues/problems/challenges.
  3. Identify and discuss applicable theories and applications:

    Case Study Applied Theory Thesis Worksheet

      Theory Why is This Theory Applicable? How to Apply it Short-Term How to Apply it Long-Term
    Issue/Problem/Challenge 1
    Issue/Problem/Challenge 2
    Issue/Problem/Challenge 3
    Issue/Problem/Challenge 4
    Issue/Problem/Challenge 5
  4. Discuss, providing literature review, one solution for each issue/problem/challenge and potential ramifications of each solution.
  5. Discuss alternative solutions for each issue/problem/challenge and potential ramifications of each alternative.
  6. Summary: Provide a general discussion of how concepts presented through your course of study contributed to your meeting the following learning outcomes of our Master of Science in Leadership and the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies–Leadership program.
    1. An in-depth understanding of their personal leadership portfolio of styles, patterns, strengths, and growth areas.
    2. Ability to dialogue in team contexts and collaborative networks for mutually beneficial outcomes.
    3. A clear sense of his/her continuous path of leadership development.
    4. A motivation for continuous practice of self-reflection and positive personal change.
    5. Skills in effective oral, written and electronic communication as a leader.
    6. A clear understanding of ethical issues, dilemmas, and best practices.
    7. The ability to critically analyze scholarly research for its applicability in organizational and personal contexts.

Items Required for Thesis Option C

Items Required
Thesis Proposal Y
Thesis Adviser and Second Reader Y
Literature Review (25–45 References) Y
Methodology Review (3–5 Case Study Methods References) Y
Problem Statement Y
Hypotheses/Propositions N
Written Document with Oral Review with Faculty Panel
Oral Presentation with Abstract and Annotated Bibliography
COPHS Approval
(only if human subjects are used as a data source)

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

For more information about the leadership program at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact

Dr. Sue Catana, Coordinator

  • SUNY Plattsburgh at Queensbury: (518) 792-5425 x109
  • Home Office: (518) 696-2710

E-mail: catanasl@plattsburgh.edu