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International Leadership: Ethical Leadership and Decision-Making

Explore frameworks for ethical decision-making that can be applied in organisations around the globe to ensure ethical leadership.

  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    5 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 3 of 5
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Explore how ethics unravels the dark side of leadership

Developed by Coventry University and delivered by lecturers with specialist knowledge of the field, this online short course in international leadership will introduce you to the fundamentals of ethical leadership.

Discover how ethical leadership is used to make effective decisions in organisations across the world.

Study the theory of ethical decision-making and leadership, including Kohlberg’s theory of moral development, and examine how you can apply these insights to your day-to-day work within your organisation.

By the end of the course, you will have a solid foundation in ethical decision-making, including an understanding of the models, frameworks, and difficulties involved.

Learn how to be an ethical leader

What is ethical leadership? This course explores ethics and its role in decision-making within organisations.

You will have a chance to explore how ethical decision-making models provide a framework for leaders to understand the effect of moral awareness, judgment, intention, and action or behaviour outcomes among members of your organisation.

On the course, you will have the opportunity to make decisions for yourself based on ethical frameworks and evaluate different perspectives of ethical leadership.

Understand the challenges faced in ethical leadership

How do you handle an ethical dilemma? This is one of the key questions you’ll tackle on this course.

Using case studies and referring to ethical theory, you’ll analyse leadership actions in challenging situations and evaluate choices when presented with ethical dilemmas as a leader.

You’ll have the chance to be introduced to ethical decision-making models and given you the opportunity to discuss contemporary cross-cultural issues involved in leaders’ decision-making.


  • Week 1

    Ethical Theory

    • What is ethics?

      In this short course, we’re going to explore ethics and ethical decision-making models.

    • Ethical decision-making models

      Now that you have an idea about what ethics is and different theories of how ethics can be viewed, let’s see what ethical leadership is.

    • Perspectives on leadership ethics

      Next, we are going to examine some of the work of prominent researchers who have explored issues relating to ethics and leadership.

    • Unethical leadership

      As we’ve been exploring this week, unethical actions by a leader can have a negative impact on their followers.

  • Week 2

    The Essence of Ethical Leadership

    • The principles of ethical leadership

      We're now going to apply what we have learnt about ethical leadership to a real-life case-study of Oxfam.

    • The dark side of leadership

      There exists a dark side to leadership, in which leadership can be unethical and destructive. We'll explore that here with the help of a case study of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Evaluate and analyse leadership choices and actions in challenging situations of ethical dilemmas
  • Discuss examples of contemporary cross-cultural issues involved in leaders’ ethical decision-making
  • Identify concepts of ethical leadership at the individual, organisational and societal levels

Who is the course for?

This course is for those wanting to improve their leadership skills to continue their professional development and/or progress into a leadership role.

Who developed the course?

Coventry University

Coventry secured 5 QS Stars for Teaching and Online Learning in the QS World University Ranking 2020 and has received No. 1 in the world for Massive Open Online Courses in MoocLab’s World University Ranking 2021.

  • Established

  • Location


About this ExpertTrack

Develop expert leadership skills by studying leadership theories and cultural management in an international context.

Start learning today - free 2-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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