This case is about Kija Kim, a Korean born founder and CEO of Harvard Design and Mapping Inc. (HDM). Founded in 1988, HDM is a cutting-edge GIS firm with $5 million in revenue and 35 employees in their Cambridge, MA and Washington D.C. offices. Through Kija Kim's leadership, HDM has become a significant niche player in homeland security and disaster relief. The case ends in fall 2005 just after HDM provided Hurricane Katrina mapping support, and Kija is nominated for the SBA Small Business Person of the Year. This case explores the intersection between cultural heritage, leadership effectiveness and organizational behavior. It particularly notes Kija's ability to turn her immigrant female minority status into a business advantage. This strength coupled with her ethos of care and ability to network in all walks of her life contributes to her distinctive and integrated leadership style. Definitions of leadership success and implications for decision making are also highlighted.
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