Do business leaders need a moral compass?


Emerald and SDGs
We support the Sustainable Development Goals

We’re all familiar with corporate scandals, where organisations have been caught acting unethically.

Recently, we have a situation where energy companies are making record profits while their own workers and wider society struggle with the cost of living, including soaring energy prices.

We look into how business can be a force for good, and why it’s so important for business leaders to be ethical, particularly when some political leaders are not.

If you're a researcher looking to publish a paper in this area, you can search our full list of journals by subject area or please get in touch with us.

This mission supports our Responsible management goal  


Introduction to this mission

Listen to our Responsible Management Goal Adviser, Richard Oloruntoba, as he discusses the background to this latest mission.  

Featured journals

Find out more about the journals we've used to select articles for this page. You can also search for a specific journal by subject area on our find a journal page.

If you want to publish your research in one of our journals, please get in touch.

question 1

What do leaders need in terms of ethics & morals?

We've chosen articles and opinion pieces that discuss what we need from our leaders. We also look at the limits of corporate morality, and why ethical leadership in politics is more important than ever.  

Journal articles


Taking the ethical lead: Predicting behavior of business leaders, 2020

Development and Learning in Organizations

Independent writer

This article investigates why corporate scandals occur. Looking into the Theory of Planned behaviour, the author uses three broad sets of propositions when it comes to ethical leadership, and surveys leader's attitudes in an IT company.…

Exploring the role of faculty and staff mentors in fostering ethical leadership among undergraduate students: "We have to narrow the distance"

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education

Meg E Evans, Rebecca M Taylor, Laila McCloud, Katherine Burr 

This study on a selective private university in the Southeastern USA, provides insights into the aspects of mentoring that the participants felt contributed to student’s ethical leadership development.
Find a journal for your research

Author thoughts

question 2

Why does ethical leadership matter? 

We look at why we need more ethical leadership in business, the benefits to business and the issue of modern slavery.

Journal articles

Find a journal for your research

Author thoughts


From the voluntary to mandatory regime: An account of modern slavery disclosure from Australian companies


Ms Isabella Panozzo, Dr Searat Ali, Professor Millicent Chang, Dr Jenny Wang

Discusses modern slavery and how the Australian government has attempted to tackle this with the introduction of its modern slavery act.…

Technology-driven businesses and moral compass


Dr Rohini Balapumi and Mr Rubaiyet Khan, School of Management and Marketing, Curtin University, Australia

Do we understand how the scenario and importance of being moral have become more relevant today due to the power of information technology in our society?

question 3

High-profile scandals – what lessons have we learned?

Here we’ve chosen some articles, book chapters, and books that discuss high profile ethical scandals in business and the lessons that can be learned from them.

Journal articles & book chapters

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Invisible in the boardroom

This mission focuses on diversity among business leaders and how businesses can ensure that all voices are heard, including Indigenous peoples, and people of all genders, ages and ethnicities.

Chat to us about your work

We love hearing from researchers and practitioners about their work.

If you would like to submit an article, you will find a 'Submit your paper' button on each journal homepage. You can search for journals by subject area on our Find a journal page

If you would like to contribute to this page, or to a forthcoming page looking at trust in business, please let us know by filling in this form and we’ll get right back to you.


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Mission-led research – our goals

Our core area of focus is interdisciplinary research aligned with the UN SDGs, with these key goals in mind, all of which are about creating real world impact, at a time when it's needed most.

Fairer society

We are passionate about working with researchers globally to deliver a fairer, more inclusive society. This perhaps has never been more important in today’s divided world...



Healthier lives

We understand the value of a world that recognises and protects the most vulnerable and acknowledges the importance of a healthy mind as well as a healthy body...



Responsible management

We aim to champion researchers, practitioners, policymakers and organisations who share our goals of a more ethical, responsible and sustainable way of working...



Quality education for all

We believe in quality education for everyone, everywhere and by highlighting the issue and working with experts in the field, we can find ways we can all be part of the solution...



Sustainable structures and infrastructures

We recognise the transformative power of sustainable engineering, design and building practices in creating a world where our planet and its inhabitants can thrive.