Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Volume 42, Issue 2, Summer 2023

Alma Acevedo
Pages 143-170

Ethical Leadership Insights from King Lear

Because of its appeal to the imagination, the intellect, the affections, and the will, literature has an invaluable role in the applied ethics education of business professionals and college students. This essay reaps ethics and ethical leadership insights from King Lear, while relishing its aesthetic value. By its side, core concepts underlying a proper understanding of applied ethics and hence ethical leadership are emphasized; particularly, the elements of human nature, moral agency and responsibility, the difference between morality and ethics, and an overview of virtue ethics and key intellectual and moral virtues. Stressing the connection between literature and moral philosophy, this essay shows how poetry can engagingly and compellingly transmit ethical concepts and values in leadership education.