The aim of this class is to provide students an interdisciplinary approach to leadership and moral decision making, one that emphasizes critical reading and writing and that draws on faculty
resources from the broader University to provide EMBA students a unique learning experience.
Each class meeting focuses on one short reading drawn from classics of World Literature – such as Plato’s Apology, Cynthia Ozick’s “The Shawl,” or Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a
Birmingham Jail.” The class is broken into two parts. In the first half of the class, a Booth faculty member (John Paul Rollert) joins a distinguished University of Chicago faculty member from
outside of Booth for a discussion of the reading and what it teaches us about leadership and moral decision making.
In the second half of the class, students are divided into small groups for a focused discussion around the texts led by Ph.D. students from the Department of the Social Sciences or the Humanities at the University. In these small sections, students take turns writing short reaction papers and responding to the reaction papers of other students. These short papers are not expected to be book reports or academic essays. Instead, they should attempt to apply the readings and what students have discussed in the class to the challenges they face in their personal or professional lives and to what lessons they might draw from them for their own leadership.
As such, Leadership and Moral Decision Making has two goals: (1) to strengthen the critical reading and writing skills of students and (2) to help them apply lessons from great works of world literature to the practical challenges they face at home and in the workplace.