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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.

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Evaluating Culture for Ethics

Culture 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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Benison: The Practice of Ethical Leadership

man wearing business suit holding a newspaper with world is changing headline
Twenty Questions to Move Business Forward

As companies are considering how to move forward, business leaders have an opportunity to put human welfare first.

Dr. Anthony Fauci and President Donald Trump at White House podium during Coronavirus press conference
Ethical Followership in Times of Crisis

While great leadership is typically called upon in times of crisis, it’s become evident during the coronavirus pandemic, that great followership can be of even greater importance.

employees having a meeting
How the Coronavirus Pandemic Inspires Us to be More Ethical at Work and in Life

10 ways companies can be more attentive and responsive to people’s needs

Adam Silver
Ethical Leadership Practices in a Pandemic

Ethical leadership is required from all of us during times of crisis.

    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.

    Download the Teaching Note

    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.

    Media Commentary

    building under construction
    COVID-19: Affordable housing construction exception rankles Bay Area trades groups, health officer

    Ann Skeet, senior director of Leadership Ethics, quoted in East Bay Times.

    barbershop with a closed for business and for sale sign in window
    How To Help The People Who (Used To) Help You

    Ann Skeet, senior director of Leadership Ethics, quoted on NPR.

    worker stands outside Amazon building holding a sign that reads,
    Treating Delivery Workers Well Could be Silicon Valleys Moonshot Moment

    Ann Skeet, senior director of Leadership Ethics, quoted in Marker.

    man on bicycle delivers food for Uber Eats
    Crisis Puts Delivery Workers on Risky Front Lines. Will it Change Their Futures?

    Ann Skeet, senior director of Leadership Ethics, quoted in Protocol.

      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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