This teaching guide is a resource for lecturers   


Overview of Modules and learning outcomes


All 14 University Modules on Integrity and Ethics are freely available on the E4J website. Summaries of all the Modules, including their learning objectives, are provided below (click on the title to access the full module). Brief descriptions of all 71 exercises that are included in the Modules are summarized in the Table of exercises


Module 1: Introduction and Conceptual Framework

This Module provides a brief introduction to the concepts of integrity and ethics. It is designed to be used by lecturers who wish to provide their students with conceptual clarity and expose them to ethical dilemmas and ethical decision-making. The concept of integrity has been added to broaden the focus from the more traditional field of ethics. Combined, the concepts of integrity and ethics provide a more comprehensive perspective - they allow us to move beyond discussions about the difference between right and wrong in order to focus on relationships and behaviour as well.

Throughout the Module, students will be introduced to concepts and thrown in at the deep end by being asked to make decisions on what they would regard as the most ethical solutions to dilemmas. Students will be guided through three major ethical theories and challenged to agree or disagree with them. Students should not be afraid to take a stance, as this will enhance their learning and enjoyment of the Module.

The learning outcomes of this Module are:

  • Understand and define the concepts of integrity and ethics
  • Describe three major theoretical approaches in integrity and ethics
  • Identify ethical dilemmas and apply different theoretical approaches
  • Understand the concept of personal integrity in the context of this Module

Module 2: Ethics and Universal Values

This Module explores the existence of universal human values, which are those things or behaviours that we believe should be privileged and promoted in the lives of all human beings. A value is one of our most important and enduring beliefs, whether that be about a thing or a behaviour. Even though some values may be universal, they often arise from particular religious, social and political contexts. To understand this, students will examine one of the "universal values" within the United Nations system, i.e. human rights. Students will be introduced to the formation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and understand how it originated from debates among a multicultural group of individual philosophers, diplomats, and politicians. Students will undertake an active learning exercise to create a Universal Declaration of Human Values (UDHV) to reinforce these ideas.  

The learning outcomes of this Module are:

  • Understand the ideas of values, ethics and morality in a multicultural context
  • Understand how universal values can be uncovered by different means, including scientific investigation, historical research, or public debate and deliberation (what some philosophers call a dialectic method)
  • Understand and discuss the idea of moral relativism and the challenges it poses to universal values
  • Critically assess the relationship between theory and practice in the formulation of values
  • Understand that values arise from lived experiences, but need to be justified to others
  • Understand the role of deliberation and debate in framing such values
  • Understand how to create an actionable document through such a process

Module 3: Ethics and Society

This Module explores the importance of ethics to society and the relationship between these two concepts. It is designed to be used by lecturers to help their students understand the concept of society - sometimes defined as humankind as a whole, sometimes in relation to a particular place - and to investigate the ways in which ethical approaches can be applied to increase our understanding of society, and ultimately our attempts to improve it. It also aims to illustrate that ethics is part of the fabric of any dimension of society. Particular attention is given to social contract theory and the work of John Rawls, with specific reference to the concepts of justice and fairness.

The learning outcomes of this Module are:

  • Define the concept of society
  • Understand the relationship between ethics and society
  • Describe different theoretical approaches that inform this issue, with specific reference to social contract theory
  • Articulate and defend a preferred position on the relationship between ethics and society while appreciating its limitations

Module 4: Ethical Leadership

We live in a world in which individuals, organizations, countries and societies are increasingly connected. Therefore, the impact of leadership - both good and bad - reverberates throughout entire political and economic systems. Greater connection equals greater influence, and this has changed the nature of leadership. Leaders have influence beyond their organizations, increasing the interconnection between ethics and good leadership. This Module is designed to help lecturers acquaint students with the theoretical underpinnings and practical applications of ethical leadership, taking into account the cultural diversity of contemporary organizations. The Module is structured around three major questions:     

  • What  is ethical leadership?
  • Why  is ethical leadership important?
  • How  can ethical leadership be promoted?

The learning outcomes of this Module are:

  • Define and give examples of ethical leadership
  • Understand leaders' ethical responsibilities
  • Explain effective ethical leadership
  • Assess ethical leadership
  • Identify ways to promote ethical leadership

Module 5: Ethics, Diversity and Pluralism

This Module explores the concepts of diversity, tolerance and pluralism. It examines ways in which the acceptance of diversity may be challenging but can be understood and accomplished by drawing on ideas and examples of ethical behaviour. The Module provides a menu of options and approaches for addressing ethical challenges involving issues of race, religious belief, gender, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, political views, and a range of others. It illustrates the relevant concepts through discussing historical social systems in which tolerance and pluralism were evident, and historical role models of integrity who provided inspirational leadership in modelling diversity and acceptance in vexing situations. The Module also discusses moral quandaries in which solutions to a moral dilemma are not clear-cut and require specific forms of ethical reasoning. The discussion emphasizes and explores the importance of diversity, not only in the context of fairness to individuals and marginalized groups, but also as a means to improve society as a whole. The Module engages the students with a variety of pedagogical techniques, including mini-lecture, discussion, debate, and role playing, to encourage participatory decision-making within both hypothetical and real-life diversity-sensitive situations.

The learning outcomes of this Module are:

  • Understand and define diversity, tolerance and pluralism
  • Perceive the value of cultures, identities, histories and points of view other than one's own
  • Provide examples of moral role models whose actions promote the values of tolerance and pluralism
  • Demonstrate a preliminary understanding of more complex aspects of diversity such as intersectionality, identity and subcultures

Module 6: Challenges to Ethical Living

The Module seeks to help students understand some of the psychological mechanisms that can lead one towards unethical behaviour in certain circumstances. By discussing several well-known psychological experiments, the Module highlights certain basic human features which, while often working in our favour, can sometimes lead us to act unethically. The Module seeks to motivate students to take responsibility for their lives by avoiding common pitfalls that can impair their ability to act ethically. Experimental research suggests that self-control is essential to ethical behaviour, but that self-control is like a muscle that develops with exercise and becomes fatigued by overuse (Baumeister, 1999). This shows the extent to which keeping out of harm's way is perhaps as important as working to strengthen our capacity to control ourselves. For the purposes of this Module, taking responsibility for ethical behaviour in our lives means strengthening our self-control 'muscle' and learning how to avoid situations that may lead us to do things that we would later regret. The experiments discussed in the Module were chosen because of their pedagogical value, the issues they highlight, their relevance to the lives of students, and the diversity of useful materials (including videos) available for them. There are many other psychological factors that influence ethical behaviour, which are outside of the scope of this Module (some of them are explored in Modules 7 and 8).

The learning outcomes of this Module are:

  • Understand mechanisms that lead us to act unethically and identify their impact on one's own life
  • Explain and demonstrate how these mechanisms can play both positive and negative roles in our lives
  • Understand the relationship between taking responsibility and being ethical, and how this applies to one's own life
  • Gain insights that could facilitate working towards ethical improvement

Module 7: Strategies for Ethical Action

This Module introduces practical strategies for taking ethical action in the workplace (in the public or private sectors), university, community and in life more broadly. Acting ethically is often not easy. As discussed in Modules 6 and 8, there are numerous psychological quirks and contextual pressures that often make it difficult to do the right thing. The present Module discusses several practical strategies that can help well-meaning people overcome at least some of these obstacles. The strategies explored in the Module go beyond merely raising awareness of the challenges and pitfalls that obstruct ethical behaviour. They are action-based approaches or methods that build capacity to act ethically. For example, the Module shows the extent to which script writing, action planning, rehearsal and peer coaching can help navigate challenging ethical situations even in circumstances that can lead ethical people to act in ways that contradict their genuine commitments. These action-based approaches draw on research and experience suggesting that capacity for ethical action can be built through training and good practice examples.

The learning outcomes of this Module are:

  • Understand how to overcome common psychological and contextual impediments for taking ethical action 
  • Adopt strategies for taking ethical action that have been developed in different sectors and areas
  • Craft, refine and deliver scripts for enacting ethical action and build the habit to do so
  • Become more effective change agents
  • Apply peer-coaching techniques around workplace ethics conflicts

Module 8: Behavioural Ethics

Evidence from behavioural science research has shown that people are less consistent and less rational in their decisions than they would like to admit to themselves. Sometimes a person may not be aware when his or her behaviour diverts from ethical standards. This is because justifications and biased judgment blur the perception of ethical breaches (OECD, 2018). This Module provides a brief introduction to the field of behavioural ethics, which studies the psychological processes that drive ethical and unethical behaviours. The aim of this Module is to provide students with insights into human behaviour that can be easily translated into actions they can take to create more ethical environments. The Module relies on students completing up to three surveys before class begins, as part of the preparation process. These surveys will provide data that can be used to illustrate concepts presented in the Module. Students will understand the concepts better when they can see those concepts in their own behaviour. The pre-class surveys are a critical innovation for this Module, as they illustrate not only course content but also how behavioural science is conducted.

The learning outcomes of this Module are:

  • Identify ethical risks in everyday life, societies, and organizations that can lead to unethical choices, such as structures that diffuse responsibility or a group that has collectively de-stigmatized unethical behaviour
  • Understand that ethical choices are not made in isolation, but are part of social interaction (so what others think or do matters)
  • Use behavioural insights to create an environment which encourages more ethical behaviour
  • Appreciate that behavioural policy design can be implemented effectively to increase ethical behaviour at very little financial cost

Module 9: Gender Dimensions of Ethics

This Module introduces the gender dimensions of ethics. It aims to increase students' awareness of how even implicit or unconscious gender-based prejudices and biases prevent individuals from leading an ethical life. The Module focuses on gender-based marginalization of women. This is not to suggest that men cannot be discriminated against. However, as recognized by the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), women are overwhelmingly subjected to several types of gender-based discrimination and violence throughout the world. The Module discusses different forms of gender-based discrimination suffered by women and considers feminist approaches that developed in response to these harms. It focuses on the relational feminist ethical theory known as the Ethics of Care (EoC) and shows how this framework can help in identifying and addressing gender discrimination. Although the Module focuses on the marginalization of women, many of its insights can be applied to address marginalization of other groups.  

The learning outcomes of this Module are:

  • Correctly define basic gender concepts, gender discrimination and the Ethics of Care approach
  • Understand the ways in which people are marginalized based on gender, and that gender intersects other demographics
  • Define and detect sexism in one's own everyday life and understand the ways one can combat it individually and collectively as a generation, culture or community
  • Understand the movements and ethics of feminism in their historical context
  • Apply the Ethics of Care theory to address and prevent gender-based discrimination
  • Demonstrate what adopting an Ethics of Care approach and taking a moral position against gender discrimination mean in one's own everyday life

Module 10: Media Integrity and Ethics

This Module discusses the relationship between the concepts of ethics and media. It aims to facilitate introspective reflection on the ways in which all of us, as individuals, play a part in the creation and dissemination of media. The Module explores the critical importance of ethics to both traditional forms of media, such as journalism, as well as modern forms of social media. The advent of social media technologies and digital news has increased the ethical responsibility of individuals in this field, especially given the global reach and powerful impact of these new media forms. These changes, together with fake news and increasing media restraints worldwide, render this Module important and relevant to students from all disciplines.

In recognition of this changing landscape, the Module extends the discussion of ethical responsibilities beyond professional journalists to news consumers, social media users, and the so-called "citizen journalists". It is designed to help lecturers enhance their students' understanding of who exactly a media provider or consumer is, and what type of ethical considerations need to be considered by those who are in these roles. The Module also seeks to provide students with an understanding of the detrimental effect that a lack of integrity and ethics in media provision and consumption can have.

The learning outcomes of this Module are:

  • Appreciate the responsibilities of the media and the ethical dimensions of media creation/provision and consumption
  • Understand the ethical obligations that media providers have towards society
  • Make ethical decisions regarding the media, whether as providers or consumers, professionals or non-professionals, or simply as users of social media
  • Analyse media ethics cases and issues using the Potter Box decision-making model

Module 11: Business Integrity and Ethics

This Module introduces students to the idea that integrity and ethics are key to sustainable business success. It examines the reasons why individuals in corporate entities should act with integrity and do business ethically. It further provides an overview of the building blocks of an effective integrity and ethics culture that supports businesses in acting as good corporate citizens. Compliance, which is a concept encompassing the measures that businesses take to adhere to standards, rules and regulations, is also an important part of any discourse on integrity and ethics and therefore is touched upon in this Module. Emphasis is placed on the role of codes of ethics or codes of conduct as tools for businesses to achieve both ethical behaviour and compliance. Although codes are only one component of an overall business ethics programme, they are a tangible way to actualize ethical practice in business.

E4J Integrity and Ethics Module 1 (Introduction and Conceptual Frameworks) defines the terms integrity and ethics, introduces basic ethical concepts and their philosophical roots, and demonstrates ethical reasoning and analysis. This Module builds on those discussions. A central message of the Module is that businesses need to adopt a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to uphold integrity standards and address ethical issues. The Module also briefly explains how businesses can contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The learning outcomes of this Module are:

  • Explain why integrity and ethics are important for both corporations and individuals in the world of business
  • Present the business case for the importance of integrity and ethics in business (both in terms of driving long-term value creation and protecting value)
  • Describe the key components required to design, implement and support a successful integrity and ethics programme in any business
  • Suggest ethical management approaches for businesses of various characteristics in terms of size, legal status, or level of complexity

Module 12: Integrity, Ethics and Law

Why is it that some actions are legal but not ethical, or ethical but not legal? This Module is designed to be used by lecturers in a variety of disciplines who wish to introduce their students to the ideas of integrity, ethics and law, including what these concepts stand for and how they are different. Integrity, ethics and law are in the news daily and regularly impact students' lives, so all students will benefit from having a clear understanding of these ideas and the challenges they raise. The discussion of legal issues is basic, rendering the Module ideal as a component in non-legal courses and programmes. However, law students would benefit from this Module as well because it introduces a fundamental distinction that all law students will encounter: what is the difference between law and ethics? Thus, the Module could be integrated into introductory courses in law and national legal systems, courses in legal ethics, or any law course that raises issues of ethics.

The learning outcomes of this Module are:

  • Understand the concepts of integrity, ethics and law, including how they overlap and how they are different
  • Understand and analyse a problem involving integrity, ethics and law in the public domain, and create and evaluate solutions
  • Anticipate, identify and reflect on problems regarding integrity, ethics and law in their own lives
  • Recognize the importance of integrity, ethics and law in resolving challenges students will face in the future

Module 13: Public Integrity and Ethics

This Module examines methods and approaches to strengthening integrity in the public sector. It is designed to be used by lecturers who wish to introduce students to the importance of public service integrity and the ways in which public organizations can promote ethical working environments. The Module explores the concept of integrity management in the public sector. It also discusses other ethical frameworks that apply to public organizations, such as codes of ethics and codes of conduct. After highlighting the importance of integrity in the public sector - or public integrity - the Module focuses on two main ideas. The first idea is that ethical behaviour is driven by both external and internal incentives. Therefore, establishing ethical public organizations requires processes that reach stakeholders' minds and hearts. The second idea examined in the Module is that strengthening the integrity of public organizations requires working in parallel on personal ethics, organizational culture, and management systems. The discussions build on the concepts elaborated in Modules 1 and 14. Going beyond theoretical and conceptual explanations, the Module includes interactive exercises that help students reach a deeper understanding of the issues.

The learning outcomes of this Module are:

  • Understand the key instruments for strengthening public integrity and ethics and the processes of integrity management in public organizations
  • Appreciate the challenges involved in strengthening integrity and ethics in the public service
  • Analyse codes of ethics as specific sets of public values and action principles, and understand the interdependence of the values
  • Evaluate and analyse public service scenarios and attempt to create instruments that manage the risk of integrity breaches

Module 14: Professional Ethics

Should a journalist publish very private information about someone to inform the public about an issue? Should a lawyer withhold confidential client information that would save someone's life? This Module is designed to introduce students to the nature, practices and importance of professional ethics. The Module first helps students distinguish professional ethics from personal and theoretical ethics, and then sensitizes students to a major issue raised by professional ethics, that of potential conflicts between role morality and personal morality. The Module also familiarizes students with professional ethics codes, something students will encounter when they begin employment in a profession. Students may have already encountered such codes that apply in the university environment, such as ethics codes for lecturers. The Module will help students realize the significance of professional ethics to various entities, including institutions, individuals, and society at large. By highlighting the importance of professional ethics, the Module will help lecturers encourage students to adopt an ethical orientation in their professional lives. If the Module is taught as part of a programme aimed toward preparing students for a specific profession such as medicine, business, law, education, or journalism, the lecturer is welcome to add examples and practices from those professions.

The learning outcomes of this Module are:

  • Clearly distinguish between personal, theoretical and professional ethics
  • Think critically about ethical issues, which are encountered first hand within a career, and apply personal, theoretical, and professional ethics to vexing moral decisions within specific professions
  • Grasp the challenges posed by potential conflicts between role morality and personal morality, and consider ways of resolving those conflicts
  • Understand the role of professional codes of ethics, the difference between aspirational and disciplinary codes of ethics, and how professional codes may apply in their career
Next page
Back to top