Here we go again with the culture thing: "The culture of obstruction and cover-up starts at the very top," declared Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, referring to construction defects in the Boston tunnel project known as the Big Dig, reportsThe Boston Globe.

Serious construction defects in the $15 billion project raise public safety concerns. Leaks in the Artery tunnel and icicles on the Zakim Bridge are "outrageous," says the paper.

David Luberoff, executive director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, says the Big Dig presents three layers of cultural issues: structural, managerial and political. First, there is the nature and magnitude of the construction problems. Second, is there sufficient management capacity to address them? And third, is public perception. "The sense of public confidence is really shaken… The larger question is, how do you restore it?" observes Luberoff.

Whenever these kinds of cultural problems erupt, the call goes out for stronger leadership. Says The Globe: "The project… more than ever needs a strong, credible leader to take charge, restore public confidence and get the problems fixed."