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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Leadership Ethics

The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics explores ethical issues in organizational leadership such as corporate governance, role-based ethics and tone at the top. We also address questions of personal ethical leadership.

Resources for Leaders During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A collection of articles addressing the compelling ethical issues that businesses and leaders are facing today.

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Evaluating Culture for Ethics

Culture Self-Assessment Practice recommends approaches to evaluating culture for ethics within companies and other types of organizations. The materials are primarily for members of an organization’s leadership team, including human resources and legal, but designed to engage a cross-section of leaders from various disciplines.

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Leadership Ethics Resources


Leadership Ethics articles on corporate governance, ethical reasoning, diversity, mission and values, and culture.

Case Studies

Case studies on leadership ethics issues faced by organizations such as Apple, Starbucks, and Wells Fargo.

Customize Your Mission

A mission statement serves as a standard for ethical decision-making to guide individuals and organizations.

Workplace Diversity Dialogues

Diversity and inclusion problems in Silicon Valley organizations are solvable if the issues are considered as ethical dilemmas. Find resources, articles, videos, and blog posts about diversity and inclusion here.

Teaching Note: Interview of Theranos Whistleblower, Tyler Shultz

This teaching module for business ethics, leadership and management courses includes two videos, homework assignments, and class discussion, all designed to spark conversation about ethical issues associated with whistleblowers and corporate governance.

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Benison: The Practice of Ethical Leadership

George W. Bush
Presidential Leadership Ethics: One Decision, Two Colonoscopies

A comparison of two presidents’ handling of health issues highlights the leadership approach of each leader.

AI in the Service of Humanity

The Partnership on AI, in collaboration with Markkula Center for Applied Ethics staff, has published a paper offering a framework for workforce well-being in the age of artificial intelligence.

students line up to greet their teacher and enter building, physically distanced and wearing masks
School Leaders Need Our Help Providing Equitable Education

The decision to send children back in classrooms is a particularly challenging one for school superintendents, and they need our support.

hand holding tilted hourglass
We’d all be Better off in Business and in Life if we Followed the Teachings of This Revered Professor

‘How will you measure your life?’ famed educator Clayton Christensen asked. That is the question for this moment.

    Media Commentary

    Sheriff Alex Villanueva
    L.A. County CEO to Receive $1.5 Million and Security in Settlement over Alleged Harassment by Sheriff

    Ann Skeet, senior director of Leadership Ethics, quoted in the Los Angeles Times.

    Exide Technologies battery recycling plant in Vernon, Calif
    New Questions Plague State’s Slow-Motion Exide Cleanup

    Ann Skeet, senior director of Leadership Ethics, quoted in Capital & Main.

    student wearing face mask sitting in empty classroom
    Opinion: We Need Silicon Valley Leadership, Now More Than Ever

    Ann Skeet, senior director of Leadership Ethics, published in The Mercury News.

    Public money pays for county memberships in the Sonoma County Alliance, records show

    Ann Skeet, senior director of Leadership Ethics, quoted in The Press Democrat.

      A Model for Leadership Ethics

      Leadership ethics explores the relationships between leaders and followers and provides tools for those in leadership roles to bring ethics forward in organizations. Ann Skeet, senior director of leadership ethics, has developed a leadership model that encourages users to think of their leadership as a practice. It shows how leadership happens on a continuum from the personal to the formal, building from a leader’s character and including actions the leader takes, with elements combining to render the impact the leader has.

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      What Is Leadership Ethics?

      Leadership ethics looks at the issues people face when they're in formal leadership roles. It can also be about personal leadership—people’s character and values and how they “show up” in life, which is central to the way they are able to have an impact as leaders.

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