Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2004 (Revised April 2006)

Managing a Public Image: Kevin Knight

by Robin J. Ely and Ingrid Vargas


Kevin Knight recounts an uncomfortable situation he faced as an African-American student at Harvard Business School. Concerned with maintaining an image as a calm and rational person, he is appalled when he finds himself in a heated classroom exchange in defense of an African-American case protagonist. Knight questions whether his fears about ethnic stereotypes had prevented him from learning important leadership skills. Knight reflects on his image concerns, questioning whether they have undermined his ability to lead effectively.

Keywords: Leadership; Ethnicity; Identity; Competency and Skills; Business Education;


Ely, Robin J., and Ingrid Vargas. "Managing a Public Image: Kevin Knight." Harvard Business School Case 405-053, December 2004. (Revised April 2006.)