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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 Managing Corporate Culture

A collection of articles sharing research and practical approaches to addressing the ethical challenges inherent in creating diverse, anti-racist, inclusive organizations.  We help managers understand what they need to do to create the kind of culture built on values, void of toxicity, and viable for the diversity represented in today's workforce.

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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
Navigate here to Articles

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


Navigate here to Case Studies

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


Navigate here to Customize Your Mission

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


Navigate here to 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.

Download the Teaching Note

Benison: The Practice of Ethical Leadership
Leaders in business, civil sector, government, and academia at the AI Roundtable with Congressman Ro Khanna held March 18, 2024 at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

Leadership takes many forms, and often the most important thing leaders can do is listen. Leaders from industry, civil society, and academia met with Congressman Khanna to inform his thinking about AI regulation.

Grassy tree lined quad with crisscrossed sidewalks with a university building in the distance.

University leaders should have a plan and be prepared to manage conflict and controversy that lands on campus.

AI ethics and legal concepts artificial intelligence law and online technology of legal regulations Controlling artificial intelligence technology is a high risk. By Sansert_AdobeStock

It is not unreasonable for people to want the advantages of a new technology delivered within a certain set of easily identifiable standards. For executives and board members, ethics are no longer a laughing matter.

Open AI and Microsoft logos

The defeat of the Open AI Board shows that in the battle between AI profits and ethics, it’s no contest.

Media Commentary

Irina Raicu, director, internet ethics and Ann Skeet, senior director, leadership ethics, quoted by Tech Target.

Ethics in the Age of Disruptive Technologies: An Operation Roadmap

Ann Skeet, senior director, leadership ethics, quoted by Corporate Board Member Magazine.

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Ann Skeet, senior director, leadership ethics, quoted by Bloomberg.

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Ann Skeet, senior director, leadership ethics, quoted by Fortune.

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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Resources for Leaders During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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

Read COVID-19 Leadership Articles

Leadership and Business Ethics Council

As ethical issues in business and leadership are increasingly relevant to today’s climate this team of professionals from public, private, and nonprofit sectors collaborates with the Ethics Center to identify and prioritize complex issues.

Meet the Leadership and Business Ethics Council

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