The slippery slope: Understanding ethics in management

Written by CMI Insights Wednesday 19 April 2023
Take a deep dive into some tips and tools to help you lead with integrity
A slippery road sign

Being an ethical and inclusive leader is the central pillar of the CMI Professional Standard, underpinning everything that managers and leaders do. Ethics and morals may sound scarily like they belong firmly to the realms of philosophy – but they don’t have to be confusing. This is a guide to applying accountability, integrity and positive moral principles to your practice.


I lead by example and hold myself accountable in applying positive moral principles, building trust, demonstrating integrity in my actions and behaviours.

The definition of Leading with integrity in the CMI Professional Standard


What are ethics anyway?

All definitions of ethics or ethical behaviour centre around “moral principles” or “moral correctness” – in essence, the principles of right and wrong

The quality of having strong moral principles (ie, strong ideas of what is right and wrong) is described as “having integrity”, while having “good” or “strong” ethics implies that you behave honestly, fairly and respectfully.


“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is looking.”

CS Lewis

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