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Teaching Unit: Decision Making and Leadership in the Public Sector


The following case studies consider the government leader's role in group decisions, the lawyer's role in managing competing claims of law and executive policy, and the logistics of managing and leading others in government.

For more information about these case studies, see related blog posts:


Learning goals: discuss a leader’s options, ethics, and repercussions when undertaking highly controversial investigations; understand the points of view of various stakeholder groups, and discuss how best to balance the objectives and concerns; understand the roles of the regulator and the administration in ensuring public welfare; understand the nature of and tensions in the powers of the administration and the regulating body in the U.S. government setting; explore optimal structures for division of power and intervention amidst vague and broad statutes; consider the forces at play during high-profile criminal investigations and prosecutions, and how best to manage criminal cases while under extreme public pressure; develop alternative scenarios and hypotheses during criminal investigations; understand the political, professional, and legal repercussions for prosecutorial decisions.

  • Reputation, Credibility, and the Goldstone Report (A) and (B)
  • Cyrus Vance and Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Dilemmas in a High-Profile Prosecution (A)(B), and (C)


For additional information, or to develop a custom case studies curriculum, contact