YJOA2140 Business and Leadership Ethics (5 cr)

Study level:
Intermediate studies
Grading scale:
Responsible organisation:
Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics
Curriculum periods:
2020-2021, 2021-2022, 2022-2023, 2023-2024


Course content:

• Ethics and leadership: academic disciplines and practical activities. Differences and interrelations among the concepts and phenomena of leadership ethics, ethical leadership, business ethics and organizational ethics. Types of ethical and unethical leadership.
• Moral philosophy, ethical theories and leadership practices. Use of ethical theories in analyzing cases of (un)ethical leadership and management. Implications of corporate social responsibility and stakeholder management to leadership and organizational ethics.
• Ethical problems in leadership and management. Contextual approach to the analysis of the problems. Whistle-blowing as an expression of civic duties in the work context.
• Business ethics and leadership ethics as instruments for building an ethical and decent workplace and ensuring organization’s sustainability. Implications of globalization to business and leadership ethics.

Connection of Course Contents to UN Sustainable Development Goals

Business and Leadership Ethics is an introductory course to business, leadership and organizational ethics. The course offers and develops a holistic understanding what business ethics is and why it is important by defining related concepts and theories, and discussing practical case examples. The course supports specifically UN Sustainable Development Goals 8 Humane work and Economic Growth, 9 Sustainable industry, innovation and infrastructure, 12 Responsible Production and Consumption, 17 Global partnership for sustainable development. The course enhances analytical and critical thinking in terms of ethics, responsibility and sustainability in business context.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course, students will:
• know the concepts of ethics, business ethics and ethical leadership,
• know the principles of and instruments for building responsible business and understand the role of ethical leadership and management in promoting responsibility in and of organizations;
• be able to distinguish different ethical theories, critically reflect their principles and apply them in the analysis of leadership and management practices;
• be able to recognize unethical leadership and management in different contexts, distinguish their causes and consequences to the individual, organization and society;
• be able to propose well-argued solutions to ethical problems in business;
• reflect their own personality in the light of business and leadership ethics;

• acquire meta-skills such as critical and analytical thinking, self-reflection and critical evaluation.

Additional information

At the Open University in Finnish or in English

Description of prerequisites


Basic Business Studies (at least the course Introduction to management and leadership)

Henkilöstöjohtamisen opintokokonaisuuden opiskelijat: Johtamisen peruskurssi sekä Henkilöstöjohtaminen

Recommended prerequisites

Study materials

The materials are specified in the study program annually


  • Crane, A., Matten, D. (2010). Business Ethics: Managing Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability in the Age of Globalization, 3rd edition. Oxford: University Press.; ISBN: 978-0-19-956433-0

Completion methods

These completion methods are for University of Jyväskylä degree students. Other options:

Method 1

Contact teaching course: Autumn term; 1st and/or 2nd period. The study methods of the contact teaching course are specified in the study program annually.
Evaluation criteria:
Accepted completion of the designated assignments. The assessment criteria of the course is specified in the study program annually.
Select all marked parts
Parts of the completion methods

Participation in teaching (5 cr)

Participation in teaching
Grading scale: