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Ethical Leadership and Ethical Decision Making

Explore leadership theories and decision-making models to become a more effective, empathetic, and ethical leader.

529 enrolled on this course

A green sphere stands on top of a pedestal surrounded by a crowd of multicoloured spheres to represent ethical leadership.

Ethical Leadership and Ethical Decision Making

529 enrolled on this course

  • 2 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Enhance your approach to leadership with the University of Lincoln

The most impactful decisions carry the greatest ethical weight. That makes learning how to make ethical decisions a crucial concern for leaders in all sectors of society.

On this two-week course from the University of Lincoln, you’ll gain the knowledge you need to become a more ethical leader. From leadership theories to decision-making models, you’ll develop a toolkit for solving the thorniest ethical dilemmas.

Explore leadership theories and approaches to ethical leadership

Ethics are notoriously hard to define. You’ll start the course by reviewing what it means to have ethics and to be an ethical leader.

After that, you’ll explore a range of leadership theories and approaches, applying each in the context of your own organisation.

Discover decision-making models and strategies for resolving ethical dilemmas

Leaders face ethical dilemmas on a daily basis. In the second week of the course, you’ll discover different decision-making models and strategies for solving ethical conundrums.

By the end of the course, you’ll have a clear sense of why ethics matter and a range of tools to help you deal with ethical dilemmas.

Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds The study of ethics is fundamental to the understanding of leadership. Indeed, the moral wins and failures of leaders carry a greater weight and volume than those of non leaders as leadership magnifies morality and ethics. I’m Craig Marsh and I’m the head of the Lincoln International Business School at the University of Lincoln. I’m Elaine Clark and I’m the director of education for Lincoln International Business School at the University of Lincoln where we ensure teaching quality future skills. An industry links are at the forefront of your learning experience. This two week course focuses on the issue of ethical decision making and ethical leadership.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds The course will allow you to reflect on the concept of leadership as it relates to ethics and consider main theories that address the moral potential that leadership provides. In addition, you’ll examine the process of ethical decision making and consider the systems in which leaders operate and the barriers to ethical decision making that leaders have to overcome. This course is aimed at supervisors, managers, team leaders or individuals at any level and requires no prior knowledge to starting. So if you want to develop your knowledge around the roles of ethical leadership and the effects that ethics can play within an organization, then this course is for you.


  • Week 1


    • Welcome and Course Overview

      Welcome to the course; let's get you started.

    • What is ethics and ethical leadership?

      In this activity we provide an overview about ethics and ethical leadership.

    • Ethical Leadership

      This activity focusses on the role of ethical leadership, what it means, as well as key approaches that can be used.

    • Authentic leadership

      In this activity we will look at authentic leadership and the impact this can have within an organisation.

    • Spiritual leadership

      This activity focusses on the role of spirituality within leadership and identifies some key leadership models.

    • Summary

      This activity provides a summary of learning from week 1.

  • Week 2

    Ethical decision making

    • Week 2 Overview

      This activity will highlight the key learning for week 2.

    • Ethical Decision and Ethical Dilemmas

      This activity focusses highlights what ethical decision making is as well as gives you some clarification overdifferent types and paradigms attached to dilemmas.

    • Theoretical Approaches of Ethical Decision Making

      This activity will look at key theories of approach related to ethical standards as well as the different between descriptive and normative ethics.

    • Decision making process : Rational decision making

      This activity will look at two approaches to the decision making process.

    • Decision making models

      In this activity we will look at a key frameworks and models for ethical decision making.

    • Summary

      This activity contains a quiz to test your learning followed by a summary of the learning over the past two weeks.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

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...

  • Investigate the role ethics and morality play in effective leadership.
  • Explain the difference between morality and ethics, in relation to leadership.
  • Identify the process of ethical decision making in practice
  • Demonstrate an awareness of links to the practice of leadership.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for managers, supervisors and leaders in any sector of society who want to develop their ethical leadership skills.

Whatever level you start at, this course will help you take the next step in your leadership career.

Who will you learn with?

Who developed the course?

University of Lincoln

The University of Lincoln is rated in the top 20 UK universities for student satisfaction in the Guardian University Guide 2022 and the Complete University Guide 2022.

  • Established

  • Location

    Lincoln, Lincolnshire, UK

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 8 May 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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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