Ethical Leadership in Food Business

Ethical Leadership in Food Business

Online Courses


6 weeks

Brief Description

When a crisis strikes your food business—and it most likely will—will you be able to respond in a way that is true to your values and protects your bottom line? Ethical Leadership in Food Business will deliver the skillsets, mindsets and toolsets necessary to make informed, ethically-minded and intentional decisions required to lead a food-related venture. Over five weeks, this hands-on, practical course will prepare food leaders to face complex challenges around health and nutrition, sustainability and climate, transparency, and labor. You’ll work to develop a personal moral compass. You’ll learn how to build and operationalize a values-based corporate culture. And you’ll practice applying your own ethical framework to real-world business issues.

Robert J. Johnson

Lead Faculty

Robert J. Johnson is a professor in Liberal Arts at The Culinary Institute of America and member New York Law School Law Review. Author of History and Culture of the Americas.

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Locations, Dates & Fees

All Online

This course is made possible with the generous support of the Newman's Own Foundation


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Sign up for an Online Open House or contact our Admissions Team at
or 1-866-242-9876.

Who It's For

Anyone looking to effectively lead in today’s food economy. Growth leaders in companies of any size, corporate intraprenerus, or aspiring entrepreneurs looking to successfully build values-based companies.

  • Robert J. Johnson

    Professor of History in the Liberal Arts/Applied Food Studies Department of The Culinary Institute of America.

    Lead Faculty

  • Robert J. Johnson

    Professor of History in the Liberal Arts/Applied Food Studies Department of The Culinary Institute of America.

    Lead Faculty


Effective ethical leadership in food requires more than a sense of right and wrong—it requires the ability to lead with purpose.  New food leaders need the tools to develop and sustain a personal moral compass, a strong understanding of the risks inherent to the food system, and the ability to apply ethical decision-making across a range of issues impacting the food industry.

This hands-on course will take you through a series of interactive exercises. You will engage theoretical models, participate in group discussions, develop research questions, create media assets, and use your developing mindsets, toolsets, and skillsets to solve real-world problems.

The topics covered include, but are not limited to:

  • the development of a personal leadership style;
  • an examination of leadership lessons from leaders in the hospitality industry;
  • a discussion of leadership strategies in a time of crisis;
  • and, an historical analysis of women and leadership, including the challenges women face in contemporary business.

This program provides the opportunity to practice intentional decision-making from a variety of perspectives, and evaluate the economic and ethical impact of those decisions.

In this course, you will:

  • EXPLORE and UNDERSTAND the definitions, philosophical underpinnings, and real-world implications of ethics as connected to pressing issues in the food business;
  • DEFINE and UTILIZE multiple ways of approaching questions of ethics and morality in business decision-making;
  • EXAMINE the balance of internal and external (personal and professional) factors when dealing with ethical decision-making;
  • CONSTRUCT your own leadership statement, according to a rigorous process of reflection, self-study and analysis;
  • and, EVALUATE the impact of common food business decisions on consumers, laborers, business-owners, the community, and the financial bottom line.

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