HOW Research

The HOW Institute for Society conducts and advances original research related to moral leadership, principled decision-making, and values-based behavior. The HOW Institute’s research agenda will include individual sector and issue-based publications by our team, HOW Fellows and other academic researchers.
Ultimately, the aim of our research is to facilitate the examination and propagation of values-based organizational behavior. By developing evaluative rubrics, databases and predictive/diagnostic tools, The HOW Institute will help organizations of all sizes and sectors to measure what matters most.

The State of Moral Leadership in Business 2024

At The HOW Institute for Society, we embrace the adage often attributed to Einstein that not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. We also believe in the business adage that what you measure is what you get, and, therefore, it’s appropriate to manage what you measure. More fundamentally, we choose our metrics and, in so doing, when we choose to measure something, we signify that it matters. When we choose not to measure something, we signify that it does not matter. Metrics are thus a window into what we value and, more importantly, our values, and as such they reflect moral choices.

The State of Moral Leadership in Business 2022

The 2022 State of Moral Leadership in Business report represents our ongoing effort to specifically study the presence of moral leadership and how, when it is present, it inspires elevated behavior in people, shapes values-based organizational cultures, strengthens performance, and leads to deeper relationships with communities and society. This year’s report confirms our hypothesis that while some leaders have risen to the occasion of late, especially since the pandemic, there still aren’t enough moral leaders to go around. Click here to read the full report and learn more about the findings.

The State of Human Connection at Work

For our second annual study, we sought to more deeply understand the current evolution of connections at work by comparing states from March 2020 to today. We found that moral leaders continue to disproportionately cultivate the cultures that encourage meaningful human connection. Click here to read the full report and learn more about the findings.

Human Connection in the Virtual Workplace

The HOW Institute undertook the research to understand how human connection in the workplace has evolved since the onset of the pandemic.  The Human Connection in the Virtual Workplace report found human connection was strained for all employees but for some more than others, particularly women and younger workers. Yet, the findings also showed workers feel more meaningfully connected when their supervisors exhibited and embodied behaviors and attributes associated with moral leadership.  Click here to read the full report and learn more about the findings.

The State of Moral Leadership in Business 2020

In addition to presenting The Institute’s definition of moral leadership, this report provides a wide variety of data on how moral leadership manifests in the business world today—the presence of moral behaviors among managers and executives, the demand that employees express for leaders with moral authority, and the variety of benefits that stem from moral leadership. The report also offers valuable advice to those who aspire to become moral leaders. Click here to learn more.

The HOW Report

Are the world views, frameworks, and tools that leaders use to chart their course sufficient to compete today and tomorrow?  We believe the answer is “No.” Our conclusion is supported by the results from one of the most ambitious, long-term research projects in the fields of organizational effectiveness, behavior, and leadership.  The HOW Report suggest a clear roadmap for how organizations can simultaneously build resilience and deliver growth in today’s global economy.  Read the complete findings here.