Leslie Sekerka, Ph.D.



The best thing about teaching at Menlo? Working with the students as individuals, helping them to discern who they really want to be in the world.”
Leslie Sekerka, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Office: 650.543.3701

Education Background

  • Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University, 2002
  • M.A., Cleveland State University, 1997
  • B.A., Baldwin-Wallace University, 1981

Biography / Academic Statement


Dr. Sekerka’s teaching and scholarship is designed to create a proactive approach to applied ethics. Her interests in adult moral development stem from twenty years in industry and in working with military officers. Sekerka's teaching is influenced by her research, which focuses on the promotion of strengths in support of personal and organizational growth, ethical decision-making, and professional moral courage in the workplace. Her award winning scholarship appears in a variety of academic venues including journals, books, and special issues targeting Positive Organizational Ethics. She is the Founder and Director of the Ethics in Action Research and Education Center. Dr. Sekerka works closely with the Silicon Valley business community as an Academic Partner at Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. She is known globally as an ethics training specialist, providing workshops and seminars that help advance employees’ moral competencies and build organizational ethical strength.

Research Interests
  • Adult Moral Development
  • Ethics and Sustainable Enterprise
  • Individual and Organizational Change
  • Emotions in the Workplace
  • Professional Moral Courage

Professional Activities

Courses Taught
  • Business Ethics
  • Managing Change in Organizational Systems
  • Organizational Theory and Development
  • Problem Analysis and Ethical Dilemmas
  • Organizational Behavior: Managing for Organizational Effectiveness
Selected Publications
  • Sekerka, L.E., Comer, D., & Godwin, L. (in press). Building ethical strength, in good times and in bad (co-editors). Special Issue (contributor/editor) on Positive Organizational Ethics for the Journal of Business Ethics.
  • Sekerka, L.E., Godwin, L., & Charnigo, R. (in press). Cultivating curious managers: Motivating moral awareness through balanced experiential inquiry. Journal of Management Development.
  • Sekerka, L.E. & Stimel, D. (in press). Embracing waste as a resource: Insights from the informal and formal economies. Management Research Review.
  • Bagozzi, R.P., Sekerka, L.E., Hill, V., & Seguera, F. 2013. The role of moral values in instigating morally responsible behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Sciences, 49(1), 69-94.
  • Sekerka, L.E., Godwin, L., & Charnigo, R. 2012. Use of balanced experiential inquiry to build ethical strength in the workplace. Special Issue on Experiential Learning for the Journal of Management Development, 30(3), 275-286.
  • Sekerka, L.E. & Stimel, D. 2011. How durable is sustainable enterprise? Ecological sustainability meets the reality of tough economic times. Business Horizons, 54(2), 115-124.
  • Sekerka, L.E. & Godwin, L. 2010. Strengthening professional moral courage: A balanced approach to ethics training. Training & Management Development Methods, 24(5), 63-74.
Recent Presentations
  • Ethical Decision-making Processes: Beginning to Understand the Islamic Perspective. Paper presented at the European Academy of Management Annual Meeting (Transculturalism, Diversity and the Future of Management), Istanbul, Turkey, 6/13.
  • Viewing the Informal Economy through the Lens of Sustainability: Worker-Related Challenges and Opportunities. All-Academy Symposium (Co-chair) and paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, 8/12.
  • Understanding Islamic Business Ethics: Advancing Management Education by Examining Middle Eastern Cultural Norms. Paper presented at the Annual Comparative and International Education Society, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 4/12.
  • Establishing a Positive Emotional Climate to Create Twenty -First Century Organizational Change: A Symposium on Organizational Culture and Climate. Paper presented at the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, 4/12.
  • Influencing the Desire to Buy Green: Exploring Ethical Consumer Decision-Making in a Social Media Context. Paper presented at the International Academy of Business and Management, San Francisco, CA, 11/11.
Awards & Honors
  • Teacher of the Year (Menlo College Emerick Award) (2013)
  • James Hervey Johnson Charitable Educational Trust Award (2011) (2012)
  • Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence (2011)
  • Santander Sustainability Challenge Scholarship Award (2011)
  • Research Scholar of the Year (2009)