The State of Moral Leadership in Business 2020

The imperative of moral leadership is more evident than ever before. The 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.

“Leadership at so many different levels and across so many different spheres has never mattered so much all at the same time — teachers, principals, presidents, school superintendents, hospital directors, C.E.O.s, mayors, governors, media and parents. That’s because what started as a global health crisis, became a humanitarian crisis, and then quickly an economic and unemployment crisis.  And also a moral crisis forcing leaders to tackle vexing issues and painful trade-offs including saving lives and livelihoods, confronting the inequalities both historic and that have been revealed once again in this moment, and enlisting each of us, once and for all, in a journey of true racial justice. This study provides compelling evidence that, in today’s business environment, moral leadership is in high demand, though it is still in short supply.”

Dov Seidman, Founder and Chairman of The HOW Institute for Society.

Featured Findings

Impact on Business

employees willing to take a pay cut to work for a moral leader


senior leaders willing to leave if CEO does not act on a moral issue


employees more likely to leave if direct manager does not exhibit moral leadership

Respondents with managers demonstrating
moral leadership in the top-tier

more likely to report satisfied customers


more likely to expect improved business results in coming year


more likely to see their company as highly adaptable to change