This free online course provided by Boston University explores the theoretical and practical elements of ethical leadership with emphasis on leaders’ personal narratives within social historical contexts. The emphasis will be put on three specific areas of ethical leadership:  morally-anchored character, transformative acts of civility, and a sense of community.

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About the course

You will learn what ethical leadership means exactly and how traditions have shaped the character of leaders and people. Ethical leaders are leaders whose characters have been shaped by the wisdom, habits and practices of particular traditions, often more than one, yet they tend be identified with a particular cultural ethos and narrative. Finally, ethical leadership asks the question of values in reference to ultimate concern.

Course participants will engage with the course in a number of ways including the development of an Ethical Leadership Toolkit (ELT). The ELT is an instrument for leaders who engage the complex ethical questions in public space and includes the following: Ethical Leadership Model; Ethical Decision-Making Model; Ways of Doing Ethics; Remembering, Retelling and Reliving Stories; and Looking, Listening and Learning. Participants will be invited to develop their own Ethical Leadership Toolkit through video exercises led by Professor Fluker, survey questions, discussion forums, journaling and assessments.

What you'll learn

  • Ethical leadership principles and practices utilising the Ethical Leadership Model™.
  • Narrative and dramaturgical methods in the development of character, civility and community as ethical leadership practices.
  • A conceptual model for negotiating ethical decision-making at the intersection of life-worlds and system worlds.
  • Various theories and methods of ethical analysis in leadership practices.
  • Personal core values that present themselves in “defining moments that ask leaders to choose between competing values and ideals in which we intensely believe."
  • An Ethical Toolkit for Leaders that can be applied in each student’s leadership context as a life-long practice.

Starting date: 24 May 2016

Duration: 8 weeks

Language: English

Instructor: Walter Earl Fluker

Institution: Boston University