About the Centre

The Potency of Ethics to Contemporary Business

The Centre for Ethical Leadership (CEL) brings evidence of the potency of ethics to the business world. Its dedicated research agenda is a demonstrable force in enlightening leaders to both the moral and commercial advantages of embracing the principle of fairness in decision making.

The CEL is dedicated to developing leaders with the capacity to thrive within an increasingly disruptive world. It seeks to develop leaders who embrace disruption with a positive spirit and proactive mindset, all the time framing their decisions with moral courage and clarity.

Inspiring Leaders                   

We inspire leaders to deeply reflect on their long-standing habits and deeply held assumptions, to better understand how they are directly or indirectly influencing the ethical culture of their organisations. Transformational times demand transformational leaders who not only engage in morally rich storytelling, but also leaders who live and embody the story line.

Leadership is Dynamic

The CEL understands the dynamic nature of leadership. It is the process of applying ethical principles that is important, not categorical black and white answers to a series of issues, which may be very different from one day to another. A disruptive world requires leaders to have the know-how for decision making that is ethically empowering and organisationally effective. In a time where there are seemingly no sacred cows, leaders require a way of thinking through issues that ensures effective action, without compromise to integrity and the worth of others.

What we do

The CEL conducts internationally regarded academic research and delivers programs and tools to develop the ethical leadership capability of both senior and emerging leaders. The CEL’s work is undertaken in partnership with a range of major organisations in both the profit and not for profit sectors and an extensive network of domestic and international academic collaboration. Research includes some of today’s most topical business issues.  The CEL’s work is founded on rigorous empirical research that underpins programs, assessment tools and advice on best practice to industry leaders.

Based at Ormond College, University of Melbourne, the CEL delivers the Vincent Fairfax Fellowship™ - the flagship ethics program for executive level leaders - and the two-day Ethical Leadership Program. Since its establishment, the CEL's major research project has been Gender Equality Project, a comprehensive research & training project, sponsored by leading organisations to identify new insights to address women’s lack of representation at the most senior levels of organisations.

The CEL was established in 2010 with the mission of building ethical leadership capabilities across the different sectors in Australian society through education, research and community engagement programs.

The CEL’s governance structure includes an Advisory Board composed of highly regarded members from business, academic and not-for-profit organisations.