Ethical Leadership (Online)

This program last ran in August 2020. Future dates to be announced.

Unethical behavior is not the result of fundamentally bad people in power. Rather, unethical behavior is often a consequence of a long, unfolding process, starting with an ethical dilemma—a tension between competing values.

It can be difficult to manifest the values that are important to us when we are confronted with pressures to do otherwise. As leaders, we have an opportunity to create an environment that minimizes the risk of people in our organization making the unethical choices when facing ethical dilemmas.

Doing the right thing must be more than simply a tagline, though. In this leadership training program, you will develop the ability to recognize competing values within your organization, take disparate value propositions of various stakeholders and integrate them into a coherent strategy to help them respond to a wide range of ethical challenges.

Note: All program content will be delivered live and will not be recorded.

Program Modules

  • Technical Check-In and Introductions: August 25 (12—1 pm EDT)
  • Week 1: August 26 (11 am—1 pm EDT)
  • Week 2: September 2 (11 am—1 pm EDT)
  • Week 3: September 9 (11 am—1 pm EDT)
  • Week 4: September 16 (11 am—1 pm EDT)

Program Benefits

  • Develop the ability to recognize competing values within your organization
  • Develop an understanding of how psychological, organizational, and cultural forces influence ethical behavior
  • Hone your capacity to take a stand and offer a justification for your decisions
  • Gain the knowledge and tactics to design procedures and processes in your organization that lead to ethical outcomes
  • Explore ways to nurture the ethical behaviors that will guide your career, as well as develop a language and set of tools to nurture ethical behavior in those around you
  • Learn how to make difficult decisions that involve economic, legal, and ethical responsibilities to multiple parties
  • Take disparate value propositions of various stakeholders and integrate them into a coherent strategy to help them respond to ethical challenges
  • Earn a Certificate of Participation from the Harvard University Division of Continuing Education

Topics Covered

The Challenge

  • How can we make difficult decisions that often involve conflicting economic, legal, and ethical responsibilities to multiple parties?

Moral Frameworks

  • What are the various implicit moral frameworks to use when making decisions, and how does each of the moral frameworks sometimes lead us to unethical behavior?

Leader Practices

  • How can I ensure that I make good, ethical decisions, and also ensure my staff make decisions or take actions that aren’t morally questionable?

The Slippery Slope

  • How do seemingly good people end up doing bad things?
  • What role does our psychology play in facilitating this slide down the slippery ethical slope?

Organizing for Moral Behavior

  • What role does the organization play in exacerbating unethical behavior?
  • What steps can I take to apply the framework from this program in my organization?

Who should enroll

This program is designed for leaders, at all levels, who wish to ensure their groups or organizations operate ethically. The insights are just as applicable for new team leaders as they are for seasoned executives. 

Leaders at all levels encounter situations that can either make—or irreparably damage—their reputation. This course will prepare leaders to both make the morally appropriate decision, and to also articulate the ethical values that guide a decision.