Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Donald R. LaMagdeleine

Second Advisor

David P. Rigoni

Third Advisor

Robert J. Monson


This case study investigated the experiences of engineers in the U.S. defense industry. The research identified two engineers that demonstrated phronesis, or practical wisdom, that sets them apart from their peers. These defense engineers demonstrated exemplary selflessness and ability to navigate the murky moral path while facing personal and professional hardships. In the end, regardless of their right actions and good outcome, they are neither recognized nor rewarded due to various industry and business forces. I call them unsung hero engineers and link their ideas and action to phronesis. This study documents their experiences, their ideas, and the outcomes. I also capture the history and current condition of the defense industry and describe the defense engineering work environment. This case study applies various theoretical lenses including Flybjerg’s phronesis, Bourdieu’s logic of practice, and Goffman’s moral career. The result is a rich study in the experiences of defense engineers and how they navigate the defense business, careers, and personal growth.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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