Print Email Download Reference This Send to Kindle Reddit This
submit to reddit

Integrity And Ethics What Is Integrity Philosophy Essay

Integrity, in the sense of a steadfast commitment to ones principles, is inherently valuable and a defining quality of ones identity Schlenker, 2008. As Becker (1998) noted, integrity has been explored in empirical research as a predictor of job performance, as a central trait of effective leaders, and as a determinant of trust in organizations.

The word ‘integrity’ comes from Latin word ‘integer’, which means wholeness. This wholeness can be described as internal consistency, combining beliefs, words, and actions. Consistency is often related to a situation with external pressure to revise opinion or action. In many situations, there is strong pressure from authorities, colleagues, or common opinion to agree with a rival recommendation or at least to accept it without objections. The external pressure is not necessarily negative; it might be a temptation, a positive opportunity but one implying abandonment of important personal beliefs. Integrity is manifested by expressing and following a personal position rather than adjusting and conforming to external demands. Srivastava and Barrett (1989, p. 32) state that “The ‘wholeness’ that the word integrity refers to is the wholeness of the relationship, the wholeness of the interaction”.

The American Heritage Dictionary (2000) gives the first meaning of integrity as the “steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code”, while other meanings emphasize that it reflects being whole or undivided. Integrity involves honesty, trustworthiness, fidelity in keeping one’s word and obligations, and incorruptibility, or an unwillingness to violate principled of the temptations, costs, and preferences of others. When people endorse principled conduct and describe themselves as steadfastly adhering to principles, they are asserting high integrity.

Solomon (1999, p. 40) defines integrity as relational “‘Wholeness’ means that one’s identity is not that of an isolated atom but rather the product of a larger social molecule, and that wholeness includes-rather than excludes-other people and one’s social role”. In Solomon’s view, integrity incorporates a balance between institutional loyalty and moral autonomy and is associated with moral humility. Although principles and policies are important, integrity “also involves a pervasive sense of social context and a sense of moral courage that means standing up for others as well as oneself” (Solomon, 1992, p. 174). Solomon did not reduce integrity to a single dimension whether it is rational self-interest or self-sacrifice. He classified integrity as a super virtue or complex of virtues, demonstrated in thought and deed. By virtue, Solomon meant a revealed disposition to act in certain morally appropriate ways. He found integrity to be inextricably social and even to contain a measure of altruism (doing for others at some personal cost) (Solomon, 1992, p. 168, 174).

Carson (1995) noted that honesty and integrity are linked in traditional definitions of the latter but submits that they are by no means synonymous. He argued that “an unwavering commitment to acting for the benefit of others, standing up for those who are under attack, loyalty to people to whom we have committed ourselves, acting honorably, and so on” would earn the designation of integrity (Carson, 1995, p. 215). Yet none of these is necessarily a function of honesty or truth. DeGeorge (1993) agreed that integrity requires something beyond a self-interested consistency. He explained, “Although integrity requires norms to be self-imposed and self-accepted, they cannot be entirely arbitrary and self-serving” (DeGeorge, 1993, p. 6). Thus, integrity implies a realm of autonomous action guided by a moral minimum of responsibility to others.

Palanski and Yammarino (2007) have shown that there is a great deal of misunderstanding and difference surrounding the meaning of word integrity. They showed that integrity has been used in management, applied psychology, and business ethics literature to mean many things, including wholeness, authenticity, consistency in adversity, consistency between words and actions, and moral or ethical behavior. They proposed that integrity should be considered as a virtue within the framework of moral philosophy as a way to resolve this misunderstanding and difference of opinion. Based on this framework, they suggested that integrity should be defined as ‘‘the consistency of an acting entity’s words and actions’’ (Palanski & Yammarino, 2007, p. 178). In addition, Palanski and Yammarino (2009) have developed a multi-level theory of integrity which, among other things, explicitly considers the integrity of teams. Palanski and Yammarino’s (2007, 2009) definition of integrity is very similar to Simons (2002) definition of behavioral integrity, the ‘‘perceived pattern of alignment between an actor’s words and deeds’’. Integrity is seen to be something far more than a simple agreement or correlation (Gutmann, 1945). To achieve integrity means first and foremost the adjustment of the innumerable elements which themselves compose our character.

1.1 What is Ethics?

Ethics is a theory of moral knowledge which concerns itself with ethical language and its uses and conventions (Almond, 1999) and the study of moral principles and the reasons that govern our moral choices and decision that we make (Zamor, 2006). Ethics, ethical, and moral are sometimes used interchangeably due to the semantics of the words. Ethics derives meaning from the ancient Greek word etho which originally meant “dwelling together’’, “to be used to something’’. The ancient Greek word ethos, also derived from etho meant ‘custom’ or moral in Latin, which explains why the words are used as synonyms (Zamor, 2006).

Ethics is all about making the right decisions. Ethics is concerned about how decisions we have made affect everything and other people interest. An individual cannot make the right decisions without understanding management in particular as well as ethics in general (Hooker, 2003). Besides that, Velasquez (2002) also defined ethics is the study of human conduct in terms of what is right or wrong, things that worth to do and what should not be done. Primarily, the element that may help to assure make morally good decisions is concerned with the question of what should count as morally good behavior, of what is the good life, and providing the justification of rules (Liszka, 1999).

Robert and James (1998) claim that ethics defined as a set of moral principles or values. It distinguishes between what is good and bad; determines moral duty and obligations and establishes principles of conduct for an individual and a professional group. Besides that, ethics is derived from the premise that there is a responsibility to protect the safety, health and welfare of the public. Organizations composed of professional members follow that same premise with established canons of ethics to govern their membership (Robert & James, 1998).

Czimbal and Brooks (1999) defined ethics is an external system of rules and laws. Usually there are rewards when we follow the rules and punishments when we break them. A professional board or committee often monitors compliance. Many organizations have developed a code of ethics that employees are expected to obey.

2.0 Organization Integrity

The extent to which the employees can influence his or her job is affected not only by prevailing ideas of ethics but also by those of organizing. A person with ambitions of integrity wants a larger role than just being an integrated cog in the organizational machine. The integrity perspective will inquire whether the company can stimulate employees to do more for the company by putting more heart and mind into the tasks, by giving them more space for individual judgment (Tullberg, 1999).

During the past decade, a number of companies have undertaken integrity initiatives. They vary according to the ethical values focused on and the implementation approaches used. Some companies focus on the core values of integrity that reflect basic obligations, such as respect for the rights of others, honesty, fair dealing, and obedience to the law. Other companies emphasize aspirations values that are ethically desirable but not necessarily morally obligatory such as good service to customers, a commitment to diversity, and involvement in the community (Paine, 2001). In each care, management has found that the initiative has made important and often unexpected contributions to competitiveness, work environment, and key relationships on which the company depends.

There is some confusion about the company position. A general conclusion is that companies overvalue the differentiation of the company culture from the national culture. Different companies from a given country share many characteristics (Hofstede 1991; Zander 1997). Still, further organizational differentiation seems to be an advantage if employees have a choice between different subcultures so that they can choose something in line with their own personalities. Differences between companies caused by self-selection by employees cause few conflicts with integrity. For example, when companies try to foster ideas and behavior with a top-down process, there are more severe problems. Still, such cultural revolutions are less problematic than if ordered by the state since individuals can disengage at a lower cost from an organization while a change of society might not be a viable possibility at all. The less sanctioning power an institution has, the more it can proclaim demands with limited harm for its members since they have an exit possibility.

Many companies are rushing to implement compliance-based ethics programs. Designed by corporate counsel, the goal of these programs is to prevent, detect, and punish legal violations. But organizational ethics means more than avoiding illegal practice and providing employees with a rule book will do little to address the problems underlying unlawful conduct. An integrity-based approach to ethic management combines a concern for the law with an emphasis on managerial responsibility for ethical behavior (Paine, 2001). From the perspective of integrity, the task of ethics management is to define and give life to an organization’s guiding values, to create an environment that supports ethically sound behavior, ad to instill a sense of shared accountability among employees. An integrity strategy is characterized by a conception of ethics as a driving force of an enterprise. Ethical values shape the search for opportunities, the design of organizational system, and the decision-making process used by individuals and groups. They provide a common frame of reference and serve as a unifying force across different functions, lines of business, and employees groups (Paine, 2001).

A religious sect can order what, when, and how it believers should live in a way that would be intrusive to integrity if ordered by the state or a company. It seems feasible that companies should have a mandate to choose their own sets of values, and that heterogeneity itself implies a positive value. Some companies will focus on high quality, others on low prices; some favor tailor-made solutions, others “one size fits all.” Similarly, some will have a military-style hierarchy, others self-ruling groups, and yet others delegation of personal responsibility. Franchise companies can be seen as experiments in combining incentives and some independence for the franchisee, with uniformity that corresponds to expectations from customers. The company has a moral zone that it might claim, demanding integrity for itself while sufficiently respecting that of the employees (Tullberg, 1999).

2.1 Individual Integrity

The integrity of individuals describes the space within which persons realize their identity in their fundamental roles as members of specific moral communities and traditions, as legal subjects, and as citizens in a specific political community. Individual integrity is encouraged and rewarded in all societies because of its importance to social commerce (Schlenker, 2001). At the individual level, integrity is more than ethics; it is all about the character of the individual. It is those characteristics of an individual that are consistently considerate, compassionate, transparent, honest, and ethical. For any group to function effectively, its members must be able to count on one another to be honest, to keep their promises and do what they say they will do, to be the type of people they claim to be, and to follow their group’s prescriptions for social well-being (Schlenker, 2001).

Figure 1: Turknett Leadership Character Model

In the Turknett Leadership Character Model, developed by psychologist Dr. Robert Turknett, integrity is the foundation of the model, and without integrity, no leader can be successful. The Turknett Leadership Group notes that individuals of integrity will not twist facts for personal advantage; they are willing to stand up for and defend what is right; they will be careful to keep promises; and they can be counted on to tell the truth (Turknett, 2005). In this model, integrity is the foundation of leadership and it involves a careful balance between respect and responsibility. When there is respect in an organization, everyone feels a sense of fairness and equality.

The individual integrity of each individual is the foundation for successful and safe performance (Krogh, 2007). According to Ayn Rand (1998) integrity is one’s adherence to his convictions. It is an uncompromising loyalty to one’s judgment, his opinions, and his values. A person of integrity is willing to bear the consequences of his convictions, even when this is difficult, that is, when the consequences are unpleasant (McFall, 1987). Quigley (2007, p. 9) states: “Simply put, those who bend rules are not considered trustworthy, and without trust an individual’s value is severely diminished. Without trust and confidence, markets do not function, and value is destroyed”. Quigley goes on to note the critical importance of integrity and character in the workplace. Lacking trust, competencies are meaningless. Individuals who are not trustworthy will not be given opportunities or responsibilities, and they will not be wanted as team members by clients or other employees (Quigley, 2007).

Integrity is a moral dimension that incorporates several of these qualities. Without these qualities, relationships become unpredictable and dangerously threatening to the welfare of the group. Those who have a reputation for integrity are treated as reliable, valuable members of the group (Schlenker, 2001). Krebs and Denton (2005) propose that moral principles function to uphold mutually beneficial systems of social cooperation. In the present theory, integrity similarly functions to channel activities in social valued directions. Like what Thomas (1982) said, “Integrity is an achievement, not a gift”.

Personal integrity has its concrete definition and its driving motivation. Its achievement, in matters of conduct, carries with it a peculiar problem. Integrity, therefore, is an inclusive virtue. Anyone who develops it does so by decision and by choice. If individual integrity is a moral virtue, then it is a special sort of virtue. One cannot be solely concerned with one’s own integrity, or there would be no object for one’s concern. Thus integrity seems to be a higher-order virtue (McFall, 1987).

2.2 Professional Integrity

Professional integrity is a sub-category of individual integrity and very much a matter of the extent to which a person displays personal integrity in professional life. According to Calhoun (1995) professional integrity entails doctors being committed to sets of professional ideals or principles, which may go beyond extant professional norms. Professional organizations are normatively complex. They will embody a diverse and at times conflicting range of values and principles. This will be due both to a process of historical accretion, as the organization is developed and reformed over time, and from the different interpretations of the organization and its associated professions that are brought to it by its staff. Code of conduct usually relate to professional integrity as they lay down the basic foundation. Code of conduct underlining theme and serve as a basis for developing own professional integrity. To be able to act with professional integrity, one must understand the nature of a dilemma. Williams (1973), speaking about integrity generally, refers to ‘identity-conferring commitments’ adhered to over the course of a life.

The term ‘professional integrity’ is often used to refer to conduct in carrying out a work role that is in accordance with commonly accepted general principles of the profession and the specific codes or guidance produced by professional bodies. Professional integrity can be described as a process of continuous reflexive sense-making (Cox, 2003), which may even involve reevaluating and giving up previously held ideals and principles (Walker, 2007). While lawyers and politicians represent extreme cases of apparent compromise of personal beliefs and values, no individual professional can simply do whatever they wish by their own lights and beliefs. There are clear role obligations to employers, clients, and professional groups with whom they are legitimately engaged. However, wherever beliefs and values vary from those of the individual, there is bound to be some kind of compromise, and how this compromise is worked out and enacted can be seen as the business of manifesting integrity. Thus professional integrity might not necessarily be the most clearly manifested in the person with the strongest conscience or the most strongly held set of values that brook no compromise. Professional integrity is greater if it not just following the demands of the profession, but doing so in such a way that will not diminish others’ live (Cox, 2001).

Cox (2003) has characterized this as ‘professionalism’ rather than ‘professional integrity’ in so far as it amounts to “pursuing the extant demands of the profession”. It is relative to the duties and obligations defined by the specific professional context within which it has to be acquired as well as by the characterization of the kinds of challenges and hazards encountered in the relevant fields of action. If they are indeed genuine types of integrity that deserve our praise, they too will have to be anchored in the basic integrity of persons as moral subjects. Even if they could be placed on a continuum ranging from mere forms of etiquette (Godlovitch, 1993) to specifically moral characteristics of individual behavior relevant to the professional context, all such types would have to find their standard in the moral recognition of persons if they at all deserve to be called forms of integrity.

While differences in professional integrity suggest that the display of integrity “in one profession need not carry over to other professions” those differences are not that fundamental as to preclude “a common currency with what it is to act with integrity in another context” (Cox, 2001, p. 63). In 2005 a group of research-intensive universities in the UK launched a code of practice for ‘research integrity’, covering matters such as intellectual property rights, plagiarism and falsification of research results. This code was said to be designed “to prove their professionalism” (Davis, 2005).

2.3 Behavioral Integrity

Behavioral integrity is different from the construct of integrity. Simons (1999, p. 19) defines behavioral integrity as “The perceived pattern of alignment between a target’s words and actions - how well that target tends to keep promises and tends to demonstrate espoused values”. It is a judgment on the strength and reliability of the other’s word, and it is a trait ascribed to the target. The construct for behavioral integrity is based on trust, credibility, and psychological contracts (Davis & Rothstein, 2006; Simons, 1999).

Simons (2002) argued that behavioral integrity differs from common conceptualizations of trust, as trust typically includes affective components (Kramer, 1996) and other judgments such as benevolence (Cummings & Bromiley, 1996) and behavioral intentions (Mayer, Davis & Schoorman, 1995). Simons (2002) describes behavioral integrity as a perceived pattern of alignment between words and deeds. In order for individuals to formulate perceptions, the actual words and deeds of others must be made salient. Interpersonal justice (Bies & Moag, 1986; Greenberg, 1990) may include behavioral integrity but also includes additional judgments of interpersonal sensitivity, courtesy, and respect. Behavioral integrity is a central antecedent to both trust and justice perceptions. The ‘promise-keeping’ component of behavioral integrity evokes psychological contracts (Rousseau & McLean Parks, 1993).

Behavioral integrity or its lack can be ascribed to a person, a group or a company. Unlike common-usage notions of integrity or trustworthiness, behavioral integrity does not consider the benevolence, the moral content or the observer’s acceptance of the target’s espoused values. Behavioral integrity at the individual level has been linked theoretically to organizational citizenship behaviors and willingness to accept change (Simons, 2007) and has been shown both to directly affect and to moderate the effect of supervisory guidance on employee conduct (Dineen, 2006). Behavioral integrity of individual leaders has also been linked to increased follower trust, both theoretically and empirically (Simons, 2002).

Simons (2000) found that behavioral integrity was associated with trust in managers and organizational commitment, which in turn were associated with employee retention, customer service, and company profitability. Employees develop a level of trust based on the congruence between what a manager says and what he or she does. Davis and Rothstein (2006) pointed out that trust is important and considered a major component in the employment relationship. When leaders do not follow-up on the values they espouse, employees receive ambiguous messages about how the leader values specific behaviors in comparison to other pressing role demands. In support of this claim, Dineen, Lewicki, and Tomlinson (2006) found that supervisory guidance had a positive relationship with organizational citizenship behaviors when behavioral integrity was high and a positive relationship with deviant behavior when behavioral integrity was low.

Behavioral integrity as a distinct construct has been shown to have important consequences, both as a main effect and as a moderator of the impact of supervisory guidance on employee conduct (Dineen, Lewicki & Tomlinson, 2006). Most theory about behavioral integrity focuses on the individual level of analysis, thus Palanski and Yammarino (2009) distinguished between the integrity of individual team members and the integrity of the overall group (team). They described the integrity of the group as the integrity of an acting entity; in other words, although group-level integrity may emerge from the individual integrity of the team members, group-level integrity refers to the integrity of the team as a separate, autonomous entity which is irreducible to the individual level of analysis.

2.4 Integrity as Moral Purpose

One way of thinking about integrity places moral constraints upon the kinds of commitment to which a person of integrity must remain true. There are several ways of doing this. Elizabeth Ashford argues for a virtue she calls ‘objective integrity’. Objective integrity requires that agents have a sure grasp of their real moral obligations (Ashford, 2000). A person of integrity cannot, therefore, be morally mistaken. Understood in this way, one only properly ascribes integrity to a person with whom one finds oneself completely in moral agreement. This concept of integrity does not, however, closely match ordinary use of the term. The point of attributing integrity to another is not to signal unambiguous moral agreement.

Halfon (1989) offers a different way of defining integrity in terms of moral purpose. Halfon describes integrity in terms of a person's dedication to the pursuit of a moral life and their intellectual responsibility in seeking to understand the demands of such a life. He writes that persons of integrity: “embrace a moral point of view that urges them to be conceptually clear, logically consistent, apprised of relevant empirical evidence, and careful about acknowledging as well as weighing relevant moral considerations. Persons of integrity impose these restrictions on themselves since they are concerned, not simply with taking any moral position, but with pursuing a commitment to do what is best.”

However, McFall (1987) points out that integrity requires that one hold principles or commitments that a reasonable person might take to be of great importance. It is hard to see how a reasonable person could take the importance of books to be sufficiently great to justify murder. Where McFall talks of judgments of importance, it is natural to interpret her as referring to judgments of value. But if this is so, her distinction between personal and moral integrity appears to collapse. Halfon's view allows that integrity is not necessarily ‘objective’, as Ashford claims that. Both see integrity as centrally concerned with deliberation about how to live. Halfon conceives this task in more narrowly moral terms and ties integrity to personal intellectual virtues exercised in pursuit of a morally good life.

Personal integrity applied to an unambiguously moral predicament just is moral integrity. The distinction between personal and moral integrity, it seems, is better drawn in terms of the kinds of commitments or kinds of activity that are in frame. Personal integrity would then refer to non-moral aspects of a person's life; moral integrity would refer to aspects of a person's life that have clear moral significance. It is unclear, however, whether this way of distinguishing between personal and moral integrity captures ordinary use of the term ‘personal integrity’. ‘Personal integrity’ appears to be a term used more or less synonymously with ‘integrity’. Nonetheless, distinctions between moral integrity, non-moral integrity, and overall integrity, for instance integrity as a general cast of character, do seem well motivated and relatively clear (McFall, 1987).

Halfon (1989) speaks of a person confronting ‘all relevant moral considerations’, but this turns out to be quite a formal constraint. On Halfon's view, depends upon the moral point of view of the agent counts as a relevant moral consideration. Persons of integrity may thus be responsible for acts others would regard as grossly immoral. The important is that they act with moral purpose and display intellectual integrity in moral deliberation. This leads Halfon to admit that, on his conception of integrity, it is possible for a Nazi bent on genocide of the entire Jewish people to be a person of moral integrity. Halfon thinks it possible, but not at all likely.

Defining the overall integrity of character in terms of moral purpose has the advantage of capturing intuitions of the moral seriousness of questions of integrity. However, the approach appears too narrow. Halfon's identification of integrity and moral integrity appears to leave out important personal aspects of integrity, aspects better captured by the other views of integrity that have examined. Integrity does not seem to be exclusively a matter of how people approach plainly moral concerns. Other matters like love, friendship and personal projects appear highly relevant to judgments of integrity (Halfon, 1989).

2.5 The Relationship between Integrity and Moral Theory

Despite the fact that it is somewhat troublesome, the concept of integrity has played an important role in contemporary discussion of moral theory. Carter (1996) developed an excellent working definition of integrity that seems to provide a theoretical foundation for a defined construct of moral integrity. Even with Carter’s definition of integrity, moral integrity is a very complex construct to define and may represent as coherence between the philosophical components of moral discernment, consistent behavior, and public justification. Moral integrity is affectively experienced as a sense of wholeness and balance in the individual who is aware of his moral convictions, is consistent in his behavior, and is unashamed to share his convictions.

In addition to understanding integrity in its own right, philosophers have been very interested in the implications of integrity for the reasonability of first-order normative theories. The main source of this interest is Bernard William’s integrity objection to act-utilitarianism. At the deliberative level, an agent who is a self-conscious utilitarian must tailor his decisions, not only to what promotes his own utility, but also to “all the satisfactions which he can affect from where he is: and this means that the projects of others, to an indeterminately great extent, determine his decision” (Williams, 1973).

An important and influential line of argument, first developed by Bernard Williams, seeks to show that certain moral theories do not sufficiently respect the integrity of moral agents (Williams, 1973 & 1981). This has become an important avenue of critique of modern moral theory (Scheffler, 1993). Modern moral theories, the most representative of which are utilitarianism and Kantian moral theory, do not concern themselves directly with virtue and character. Instead, they are primarily concerned to describe morally correct action. Theories of morally correct action generally aspire to develop criteria by which to categorize actions as morally obligatory, morally permissible, or morally impermissible. Some theories of morally correct action also introduce the category of the supererogatory. An action is supererogatory if and only if it is morally praiseworthy, but not obligatory. The two theories of primary concern to Williams are utilitarianism and Kantian moral theory, and both of these are usually interpreted as eschewing the category of the supererogatory (Baron 1995). Williams maintains that both utilitarianism and Kantian moral theory are deeply unbelievable because of their integrity undermining effects. His argument against utilitarianism makes the more transparent appeal to the concept of integrity (Herman, 1983).

According to Williams (1973) an agent who adopted this version of utilitarianism would find themselves unable to live with integrity. As he puts it, to become genuinely committed to act-utilitarianism is for a person to become alienated in a real sense from his actions and the source of his actions in his own convictions. It is to make him into a channel between the input of everyone's projects, including his own, and a decision; but this is to neglect the extent to which his actions and his decisions have to be seen as the actions and decisions which flow from the projects and attitudes with which he is most closely identified. It is thus, in the most literal sense, an attack on his integrity (Williams, 1973).

Furthermore, if without integrity, abandoning or ignoring a longstanding, identity-conferring commitment to pacifism simply because maximum general well-being is to be found elsewhere. In general, Williams concludes, identity-conferring commitments cannot play the kind of role in act-utilitarian moral deliberation that is required for an agent to act with integrity. That is for an agent to act with genuine conviction in matters of grave, identity-determining importance to them. Act-utilitarianism, if self-consciously implemented, can attack agent’s integrity because it prescribes impartial moral requirements which will, in certain cases, conflict with an agent’s identity-conferring commitments, such as his job, personal activities, education, or family (Ashford, 2000).

A moral theory primarily describes morally correct action and does not automatically entail a theory of correct moral deliberation. There are however, a number of difficulties with separating out theories of morally correct action and correct moral deliberation in this way. For one thing, it appears to deprive a theory of morally correct action of much point. The matter is not finally settled, however, for notice that critique is premised on a version of the identity theory of integrity. There is other reasonability of candidates for an account of integrity and the critique of utilitarianism may well succeed better in their terms. The key issues are whether utilitarian commitment is compatible with a fully satisfactory account of integrity, and if so, whether integrity is of such value and importance that the clash between integrity and utilitarian commitment undermines the plausibility of utilitarian moral theory. An adequate account of integrity needs to deal with these issues and to capture basic intuitions about the nature of integrity while that persons of integrity may differ about what is right but a moral monster cannot have integrity.

2.6 The Relationship between Integrity and Leadership

Peter Drucker argued that abiding by business ethic and displaying personal integrity are prerequisites for leadership; although ethic and integrity may not ensure effective leadership, Drucker claimed that their absence precluded it (Cohen, 2009). Research implicit leadership theories, organizational trust, transformational leadership, leader-member exchange, and the emerging evolutionary perspective all support this claim. The findings indicated that leaders need to be viewed as having high integrity in order to win the trust of followers, when leaders are seen as lacking integrity; it harms the trust and relationships needed to build and maintain a team.

Research on implicit leadership theories suggests that people have innate cognitive categories that they use to evaluate another person’s leadership potential (Lord & Maher, 1993). This work shows that the single most important evaluative criterion for deciding whether someone is worth following or not is “honesty,” although “fair” and “believable” are also high on the list (Lord, Foti & De Vader, 1984). The GLOBE study of leadership in 62 cultures found that “trustworthy,” “just,” and “honest” were universally desired attributes (Hartog, Horse, Hanges, Ruiz-Quintanilla & Dorfman, 1999).

Research on transformational leadership also highlights the role of integrity. The ethical nature of transformational leadership has been hotly debated. This debate is demonstrated in the range of descriptors that have been used to label transformational leaders including narcissistic, manipulative, and self-centered, but also ethical, just and effective (Thomson, 2002). Therefore, the purpose of the present research was to address this issue directly by assessing the statistical relationship between perceived leader integrity and transformational leadership using the Perceived Leader Integrity Scale (PLIS) and the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). Craig and Gustafson (1998) demonstrated that the Perceived Leadership Integrity Scale (PLIS) could be used to determine subordinate rated levels of the perceived integrity of target leaders in organizations. Using an adapted version of the PLIS (for our purposes called PLISR, indicating the revised form) which allows rating of perceived integrity of leaders at various organizational levels (not only bottom-up), this study attempts to measure the perceived integrity of leaders at organizational levels at and below that of the rater.

There are many connections that can be drawn between leadership demonstrating integrity and transformational leadership. These links are discussed both within the literature focusing on integrity on the one hand, and in literature concerned with transformational leadership on the other. For example, Gottlieb and Sangria (1996) highlight that leaders with integrity always encourage open and honest communication, particularly in discussion concerning decision-making. Carlson and Perrewe (1995) believe that transformational leaders work upon a basis of personal values such as integrity and justice. They go even further to state“transformational leadership is viewed as the best approach for instilling ethical behavior in organizations” (Carlson & Perrewe, 1995, p. 5). However, although integrity, justice, and ethics are conceptually related to transformational leadership within the literature, the link between them has had little empirical consideration

Moreover, transformational leadership emphasize a collective vision, considers the needs of individual follower, and helps them aligns their self-interest with collective interest. In his original formulation of the concept, Burns (1978) emphasizes moral development. Bass and Steidlmeier (1999) argued that transformational leadership depends on the character of leaders, the values reflected in their vision, and the morality of their methods. Indeed, follower’s perceptions of transformational leadership are closely related to their perception of leader’s integrity (Parry & Thomson, 2002). Conversely, integrity seems not to be central to charismatic leadership.

On the other hand, leader is often tempted to exploit their position for personal gain (Vugt, 2008; Maner & Mead, 2010). Dominance and despotism are part of primate heritage, and as Freud (1921) suggested, people who aspire to positions of power are often selfishly motivated. Not surprisingly, there is evidence that evolved mechanisms help followers avoid being taken advantages of by selfish leaders. For example, among humans, gossip and public criticism are often used to control bad leaders (Boehm, 1999). Strong instincts for reciprocity, which Piaget (1965) observed among young children, also encourage followers to avoid for sanction unfair leaders. These findings help explains why followers in every culture are concerned about the trustworthiness of leaders and why perceived integrity plays such a pivotal role in leader-follower relations. At the deep, unconscious level, followers are wary of leaders who may abuse their power.

In fact, across all cultures, “trustworthy” was the attributes that followers rated as most important for effective leadership. Research on organizational trust emphasizes the importance of managerial trustworthiness (Zalabak, Ellis & Winograd, 2000). A meta-analysis of this literature shows that the degree to which employees trust their direct supervisor is correlated with job satisfaction, job performance, and exercising discretionary effort (Dirks & Ferrin, 2002). There were also effects for trust in management in general, but they were small compared to the effects of trust in direct supervisors. The authors speculated that trust in one’s boss may be the strongest determinant of employee outcomes in the workplaces.

2.7 The Relationship between Integrity and Trust

Integrity originated from the Latin word ‘integrare’ or ‘integritas’. Most dictionaries agree of a certain idea of ‘wholeness’ (physical or moral). For an institution, the values system is in narrow relation with its social finality and the effort of alignment and its outcomes determine therefore its level of integrity. A person's integrity is progressively formed since early childhood and it continues all along educational life. If it is cynical to affirm that it would be too late to teach the personal integrity, it will be necessary to recognize that in general it is very naive to believe that the very few years spent on the bench of the law school, as intense they are, can change much the values system built for more than twenty years. However, and it is the second reason, it would be more plausible to believe in the experiments that confirm that a person has tendency to conform to the expectation, culture and practices of her or his environment; and it is true for a person evolving within an organization (Luban & David, 2003).

With regard to the relation of integrity and trust, it seems that most people will not confide their properties to person whose integrity is questionable. Even though other factors contribute to the construction of trust, the reputation of integrity plays a fundamental role. Concerning the judicial institution, if given the choice no one will be going to confide her or his life, liberties and goods to a judge or a court lacking integrity, except maybe if this person is also deprived of a moral rectitude and can take advantage of the transaction. Even in that case, the full trust is not surely present. Such distrust is also legitimate towards a lawyer or a law firm because of the contractual nature of the relation with the potential client. Thus, it proves to be a lot more efficient to privilege the institutional approach to have an influence on the individual than the other way around (Giugni, 2002).

One’s trust is hardly to be controlled by another person who demands it. The best the latter can do is to make an effort to earn that trust he expected from the former. It is then proposed to focus on the notion of ‘trustworthiness’ that, intrinsic, corresponds more logically to the real performance of the institution concerning integrity and is much situated in the domain of controllable (Giugni, 2002). The utility of the trust for the integrity reform remains nevertheless in measuring impact on citizens and other institutions.

Integrity seems not to resist before the aggressiveness of corruption and other dishonest practices, if one only considers the short term. A lawyer who practices shortcuts seems to detain serious odds to always win before a crooked judge or dealing with a court of low integrity. One of the main features of good reputation and trust is that these are laborious in construction but delicate in maintenance. In this era of information, a crack to reputation can be very prejudicial and is difficult to restore for an organization or an institution (Healy & Palepu, 2003).

3.0 The Importance of Integrity in Society

The concept of integrity has played a key role in moral philosophy throughout history and is promoted in all societies because of its importance to social relations (Schlenker, 2009). Individual integrity is vital to society as the kind of society which is likely to be more conducive to integrity which is one which enables people to develop and make use of their capacity for critical reflection, one which does not force people to take up particular roles because of their sex or race or any other reason, and one which does not encourage individuals to betray each other either to escape prison or to advance their career. Besides, societies can be favourable to the development of individual integrity. Society expects and requires integrity of its leaders. A person of integrity insists on doing what is right at all times, not only when he knows that a superior or subordinate is watching him. It is the courage to complete a bombing run when one knows full well that the chance for survival is poor or non-existent or the courage to admit failure rather than alter a report (Duggar nd.).

Ethics come into play when the interests of others are incorporated into the calculus of personal and business decision-making as human beings we live embedded in a society. The most successful individuals and companies are those with reputations of high individual integrity among everyone they deal with. This level of integrity builds the confidence and enables them to do more business than their competitors whose ethics may be a little unstable (Barry & Stephens, 1998). 

Integrity is complete honesty in any situation (Flynn, 1978). We must determine what is really right and really wrong. Right even transcends the violation of regulations. You must oppose what is wrong and support what is right even if it costs you your life or your career. In other words, integrity means more to the professional officer than the dictionary definition. It means honesty, truthfulness, reliability, impartiality, sincerity, open mindedness, trustworthiness, and courage. It means totally ethical behaviour at all times and in all situations, regardless of the consequences. It cannot be turned on and off as desired; it is the focus of the professional’s life (Flynn, 1978).

Babbitt (1997) explicitly links individual integrity to social structures in a way that broadens the concept of integrity. If social educational structures fail to facilitate the life of integrity, other structures may be positively hostile to it. As Babbitt (1997) notes, one needs to be able to make choices in order to develop the kinds of interests and concerns which are significant to leading a life of integrity. On the other hand, oppressed people are often able to reflect on social realities with the greater insight because they do not benefit from them. They have no incentive to accept self-deceptive attitudes about circumstances of oppression or to see past them with convenient blindness. Oppressed groups therefore have all the more scope to think about social reality with integrity, and to act out of this understanding with integrity. A capacity for reflection and understanding enables one to work toward integrity even if it does not ensure that one achieves an ideal of integrity.

An adequate account of personal integrity must recognize that some social structures are of the wrong sort altogether for some individuals to be able to pursue personal integrity, and that questions about the moral nature of society often need to be asked first before questions about personal integrity can properly be raised (Babbitt, 1997). Questions about integrity may turn out to be, not about the relationship between individual characteristics, interests, choices and so on, and a society, but rather about what kind of society it is in terms of which an individual comes to possess certain interests, characteristics, and so on. This does not imply that questions about personal integrity are entirely moral, not having to do with idiosyncratic characteristics of individuals; instead, it suggests that the very meaning of personal integrity in particular cases sometimes depends upon more general considerations about the nature of the society that makes some idiosyncratic properties identifying and others not. The pursuit of adequate personal integrity often depends, not so much on understanding who one is and what one believes and is committed to, but rather understanding what one's society is and imagining what it could be (Babbitt, 1997).

3.1 The Importance of Integrity in Organization

Integrity refers to the culture, policies, and leadership philosophy at the corporate level. A culture of integrity has to start at the top and be seen in the activities of the executives. The leadership of the corporation must develop a consensus around the shared values (Warren, 2009).

Placing organizational and personal integrity in the moral context could give organization a framework for articulating subtle aspects of the company's organizational life such as culture, routines, and so on. These have direct impact on profitability and on the company's sustainability. The reason is that in the same way as individuals possess an identity or character, the company does too. The organizational culture of a firm is the personality, identity or character of the company. It is comprised of the assumptions, values, norms and ethical orientation of organization members, as well as of their behaviors (Nelly, 2007).

Integrity is necessary to effective leaders in the workplace. It may possibly place at the top among the characteristic that a leader needs to possess. Thus, when faced between right and wrong, integrity means making the correct choice for leader. Besides, leaders in organizations and companies demonstrate ability to manage and motivate workers while furthering the aims and goals of the business. A leader who consistently demonstrates integrity and the willingness to make the right decisions for the good of the organization encourages loyalty and commitment from workers. It is an important factor in moving the company for those workers respond positively to a leader or manager with integrity (Kelchner nd.). Workers will catch on and follow suit if employers will demonstrate honesty and integrity in all situations.

According to Bruyn power for the leader does not flow from the organization but from the influence that leader has to convince people to recognize and accept that power. Simply, a leader must build and maintain credibility with his followers. Those leaders who rely upon the organization to give them the authority they need will never have sufficient authority to carry out their tasks because what they need is not authority from an outside source but to build influence through integrity so that they can influence people themselves. It is not the plate on the door that gives a leader the authority to lead but the trust of the people being led (Maxwell, John, 1993).

It is important for an individual to determine for an employer with similar values. This match will be a key factor in one’s ability to grow professionally and gain experience. As Quigley (2007) has pointed out, the culture of integrity may be far more important than the starting salary in one’s quest for personal and professional fulfilment. He notes that corporations with a culture of integrity will offer support to employees through colleagues and processes in place. Consultation with other is seen as strength rather than a weakness and supports a work-life balance. This is because it reduces job stress, balances one’s perspective, and contributes to job satisfaction (Quigley, 2007).

3.2 The Importance of Integrity in Individuals

Integrity is attributed to various parts or aspects of a person's life. There are those attributes such as professional, intellectual and artistic integrity. Integrity is more than ethics at the individual level. It is all about the character of the individual. It is those characteristics of an individual that are consistently considerate, compassionate, transparent, honest, and ethical. However, the most philosophically important sense of the term ‘integrity’ relates to general character (Cox, La Caze, & Levine, 2001).

Integrity communicates to self and others in a way that psychic wholeness or individuation does not. It is this quality of communicability that reduces integrity such an essential factor in psychotherapeutic practice. It determines the way in which the individual relates to the world and to others in the world as well as to his or her own self. It can be understood as a particular moral, as opposed to psychological attribute which has a direct relationship with the rest of the subject’s moral being while being independent of it at the same time. It is a given of personality and cannot be achieved (Gross, 2001).

According to Quigley (2007), he emphasizes the critical role of trust in the professional success of an individual. He states: “Simply put, those who bend rules are not considered trustworthy, and without trust an individual’s value is severely diminished. Markets do not function and value is destroyed without trust and confidence.” (Quigley, 2007, p.9). Quigley goes on to note the critical importance of integrity and character in the workplace. Competencies are meaningless if lacking trust. Individuals who are not trustworthy will not be given opportunities or responsibilities, and they will not be wanted as team members by clients or other employees. Individuals are untrustworthy without integrity. Individuals who own integrity will commit to choosing right before they find themselves in a situation (Quigley, 2007).

Integrity is a quality of spirit that lives in all of us (Sherman, 2003). Professional integrity and ethical behaviour is crucial for personal credibility and professional success within the business world. Each profession has a set of core values by which it identifies its very essence (Brown, 1980). Professionals who have worked with personnel who lacked integrity talk about the inability to count on individuals to do what they have said they would do, environments where the focus has gone from customers to protecting oneself, and where leaders are unwilling to live by the values that they publicly espouse (Warren, 2009. To act with professional integrity, each member of the profession has the responsibility to have personal integrity, and the best of us create environments that nourish the integrity of others (Sherman, 2003).

4.0 Other Relevant Theories

4.1 Kohlberg Theory

This section discusses the relevant theories in explaining integrity and ethics. In order to study the theory for integrity and ethics, one must understand moral development. According to Kohlberg (1971) moral development is divided into three levels with six stages. His theory for this development is based on the thinking of Jean Piaget and John Dewey, who are Swiss psychologist and American philosopher respectively (Barger, nd.). Moral development proposed by Kohlberg believing that people progressed in their moral reasoning through a series of stages.

Level

Stage

Social Orientation

Pre-conventional

1

Obedience and Punishment

2

Individualism, Instrumentalism, and Exchange

Conventional

3

Good boy/girl

4

Law and Order

Post-conventional

5

Social Contract

6

Principled Conscience

Table 1: Lawrence Kohlberg’s Moral Development Framework

The first level in moral development is pre-conventional level with two stages. Stage one is obedience and punishment. In this stage, people will try their best to avoid punishment and will not question human meaning or value on these consequences. In short, people behave is depends on social acceptable norms which set by authority group, such as parent, political leaders and teacher. This element can be found in ethic context. One is regarded to fulfill the ethical behavior if they behave consistent with social norms that set in their society. While in stage two, the benchmark for right behavior is means acting for self-interest. They will typically satisfy their own needs before the others. People in this group are practicing the element of fairness, reciprocity and equal sharing, however, in a pragmatic way, for example: you scratch my back and I will scratch yours (Kohlberg,1971).

Conventional level of moral development is much common in today society. Good boy/girl in stage three explains that good behavior is usually judge by intention. It further explained that good behavior is actions that making others happy, helping others, and must approved by them. Integrity consists of element in stage three as integrity is not solely depended on rule and regulation by authority group. Instead, it is emphasized on personal judgment, for example, ‘trust’ is hardly to measure with rule and regulations. On the other hand, stage four is law oriented. This means that people in this group are behaving based on a fixed set of rules and regulation. This can explain well the characteristic of ethic. In ethic study, one is considered acting ethically if he/she complied with the legal point of view set by authority in society. He/she is considered practicing moral if he/she doing his duty, respecting authority decision, and comply with the given social norms.

Third level of Kohlberg moral development is suitable to explain the characteristic of integrity. In Solomon (1999) view integrity incorporates a balance between loyalty and moral autonomy and it is associated with moral humility. Social contract in stage five under post-conventional level is the continuous of stage 4 ‘‘law and order’’. Behavior under social contact is still based on law and regulations set in society, but subjected to rational consideration. This means that there is a possibility of changing in law set by society, depending on the situation. It is about the mutual benefit, welfare and interest of the society as explained by Palanski and Yammarino (2007) integrity is about wholeness. The last stage is about principled conscience, which emphasize on universal principal and individual conscience. As discuss in Gutmann (1945) paper, integrity is seems to be something far more than a simple agreement. Gutmann said in order to achieve integrity, adjustment of innumerable elements which themselves compose the people character. There is no fixed rules and law, but it is based on intrinsic moral value. It is consistence with stage five in Kohlberg Moral Development, theorem emphasize on the universal principles of justice, reciprocity, equal respect and the dignity of human right. For example, a person claims to practice integrity if his /her actions are based on their conscience. At the same time, the actions done are fulfilling the universal principles.

4.2 The Forsyth Theory

High Relativism Low Relativism

Situationists

High Idealism

-Rejects moral codes

-personal analysis of actions in each situation

-relativistic

-Idealistic Skeptic

Absolutists

- Accepts moral codes

- Ethical decisions must not harm others

- Deontologist

Subjectivists

Low Idealism

- Rejects moral codes

- Personal values determine judgments,

- Not universal codes

- Ethical egoists

Exceptionists

- Accepts moral codes, but open to exceptions.

- Optimal outcomes not possible for all

- Teleologist, utilitarian

Figure 1

Forsyth’s Taxonomy of personal Moral Philosophies (S.J. Forsyth, 1980)

Sources: Chan. L. M, Othman. J & Joned. R (2011), The Conceptual Model of Personal Philosophy Ethical Decision Making. Journal of Management Research.

According to Bass, Barnett & Brown (1998) the differences between the ethical theories of deontology, teleology, and scepticism are the degree of the theories which is relativistic or non – relativistic. Generally, most of the ethics theories recognized the personal moral philosophy (PMP) as one of important elements for individual’s ethical decision making process.

Forsyth (1980) has designed a 2 X 2 category of moral philosophies based on these two dimensions. He terms the integrated system of ethics as “personal moral philosophy” (PMP). According to Forsyth (1980) a person’s moral beliefs, attitudes and values are included PMP. In the PMP, it provides the guidelines for moral judgments, solutions to ethical dilemmas, because it contains the elements produced by previous experiences in resolving ethical dilemmas (Chan, Othman & Joned, 2011).

As Forsyth (1980) states relativism is the degree to which an individual rejects universal moral rules as appropriate guidelines for ethical decisions. Forsyth (1992) argued moral rules exist in a situational context as a function of time, place and culture and relativism said that moral absolutes should be rejected. Normally, high relativistic people who will believe the universal ethical codes or moral principles are not important when making ethical judgments and decision because they must consider external factors also. While, low relativistic person when making a moral judgments or decision will more stress on the importance of rigid adherence to ethical codes.

Forsyth (1988) explained that idealism is involves expand of an individual’s concern with the welfare of others. This is the degree to which an individual believes that desirable consequences can, with the right action, always be obtained (Forsyth, 1980). An idealist believes that morally correct actions will always produce negative and also positive consequences (Forsyth, 1980). A person who are highly idealistic individuals are believe that harming is avoidable, and they would rather not choose if the decision will lead to negative consequences for other people (Karande, Rao, & Singhapakdi, 2002). Idealism involves the values which related to sense of optimism in considering responses to moral issues; however, it is not based on an embrace of moral absolutes (Singhapakdi, Vitell, & Franke, 1999). Therefore, idealism and relativism are conceptually independent, and individuals maybe high or low on either dimensions (Forsyth, 1980; Karande, 2002).

From the previous research and finding found that many authors concluded the differences in personal moral philosophies are influence individuals toward the argumentative of ethical issues (business ethics). Based on the variety of social and ethics issues, the personal moral philosophy have shown that the beliefs on which ethical decisions should be made are important elements of attitudes (Chan, Othman & Joned, 2011).

5.0 The Relationship Between Integrity and Ethics In Organization

An organization’s success depends on the integrity of its employees. Over the past several of the studies, many documented evidence proven of unethical behaviour in organizations (McDonal & Nijhof, 1999). The lack of morality and ethics (employee) in an organization will results in lost security and credibility. The employees are the person who always contact with customers; therefore, they are representative of organizations’ image. If an employee acts without integrity will cause organization’s reputation damaged and both customers and employees a tragic loss (Czimbal & Brooks, nd.). The behaviour and performance of leaders were assumed to affect other people and organization (Cielo, nd.).

According to Cheney (2006) organizations that have conducted an ethical orientation will witness the improved reputations. Generally, most theories and empirical research have attributed unethical behaviour to situational variables associated with the organization, characteristics of the individuals, or the interaction between these two factors (Trevin, 1986; Ford & Richardson, 1994; Loe, 2000). Following by this, ethics and integrity also became a research focus, and specifically the relationship between a contribute individual’s prosperity and the collective good. However, Dehspande (1996) argued that ethics policies in an organization and ethical behaviour of employees and management within an organization are two different concepts; yet, they do influence each other.

According to Peterson (2003) the degree to which a person believes in universal moral is influence by how are the situational variables is. That is, some individuals may believe that certain acts such as bribe, unfaithful, are always wrong. However, the other individuals may reject the concept that there are universal moral rules and assume that what make up ethical behaviour depends on the situation of the behaviour. One of the possibilities that is, every people is different, in terms of their degree of believe in universal moral rules, and the belief that related to ethics. All such elements have been incorporated into a number of theories on ethical behaviour. The belief of ethics is relative incorporated into a number of theories on ethical behaviour is related to the possibility that individuals differ in terms of the degree to which they believe.

One of the situational factors is after the observed unethical behaviour among many organizations; it assumed that the much of the differences is the integrity or ethical attitudes of the organization’s leaders (Sims & Brinkmann, 2002). According to Resick, Hanges, Marcus, Dickson, and Mitchelson (2006) explored approval that one of the components that characterize ethical leadership is integrity. Due to Beu and Buckley (2004) claimed that organization members will be influences if that leaders with unethical practices. Follow by Simons (1999) studied integral behaviour as an ingredient of leadership and found that a meaningful direct relationship between integrity and the ability to incur the changes. Davis and Rothslein (2006) further commented that ethical leadership involves personal integrity.

The six core universal moral values stated in the Aspen Declaration have been referred to by other business ethicists (Carroll, 1993; Schwartz,2002) Josephson institute of ethics (1996) claim that what appear from the analysis is that moral values are declaim by other resources. The values include the following (Josephson, 1996):

Trustworthiness (including the notions of honesty, integrity, reliability, and loyalty;

Respect (including concept of civility, autonomy, and tolerance);

Responsibility (including notions of accountability, excellence, and self- restraint);

Fairness (including concepts of process, impartiality and equity);

Caring (including notions of concern for the welfare of others, as well as benevolence);and

Citizenship (including concept of respecting the law and protecting environment).

According to Peterson & Forsyth (1980) was proposed that the beliefs of individuals varied along from a strong belief in universal moral rules to a belief that ethics is relative. Kohlberg’s (1969) original model viewed moral development as progressing through a series of stages and levels. An individual are assumed to believe in universal values or principles where highest level of moral are developed. It would seem logical to assume that individuals would not easily to be affected others views, such as leaders in organization because of the strong belief in universal moral rules (Peterson, 2003).

Forsyth’s model normally individual who expected to solve ethical dilemma is adapted to belief in universal moral rules. However, in Kohlberg’s model, individuals functioning at the highest level of moral reasoning are assumed to follow to a self-chosen set of moral rules and are expected to reason beyond the norms, laws, or authority of any individual group. Therefore, it acceptable to say that individual with strong belief in moral rules is not easily to be influenced.

Conversely, it also reasonable to say that individuals who are strongly belief universal moral rules could be easily influenced by external factors in determining ethically appropriate. In Forsyth’s framework, individual will judge ethical dilemmas based on their personal perception and knowledge towards the situation if they do not belief in universal moral values. However, according to Kohberg’s model, some of the individual will classified at the level of moral to determine ethically appropriate based on their expectations of behaviour of others, such as family, a peer group, or society in general. Therefore, based on all these theories, people who not believe in universal moral rules seems likely easily influenced by others, as well as the leaders in the organization ( Peterson, 2003).

6.0 Conclusion

The relationship between integrity and ethics remains unclear because the researchers (McAllister, 1995; Kramer, 2000; Tyler, 2003) failed to declare the relationship between these two concepts through their researches. The reasons behind this phenomenon are clear as the relationship between integrity and ethics are mutual in nature. Integrity is a personal code of conduct that goes above the letter of good conduct and encompasses the spirit of good conduct (Shane, 2007) whereas ethics is an entity to be formed within a societal or environmental situation. The foundation assumption of ethics is that it develops through time, space and context. Integrity defined as the consistency of an acting entity’s words and actions (Palanski & Yammarino, 2007). The reciprocal relationship has create confusion towards the understanding on how exactly these two distinct concepts works in a social phenomenon.

Kohlberg theory attempts to capture the whole relationship between these two dimensions which is integrity and ethics. However, this theory is still way behind to explain the relationship. Kohlberg’s theory is concerned with moral thinking, but there are always a big gap between knowing what we should to do and our real actions (Cherry, nd.). Perceived an individual’s functioning at the highest level of moral reasoning are assumed to follow to a self-chosen set of moral rules and are expected to reason beyond the norms, laws, or authority of any individual group (Peterson, 2003) . Thus, it adequate to about that individual with strong belief in moral rules is not easily to be influenced.

The challenge of modern society is that there is a missing link between people and the quality of integrity. It has been lost to most in our world and culture. Some people not even know what integrity means. Integrity is a model of truthful and honest, yet its value in society seems to be underrated. Integrity is complete honesty in any situation (Flynn, 1978). Having a high level of integrity is one of the most important characteristic people can possess. It is a core value, a choice and something people can nurture. Integrity means totally ethical behavior at all times and in all situations, regardless of the consequences. People may not always be right or do right, but if people have integrity, they will accept the responsibility associate with their actions. People will feel remorse if they have done something wrong and revise their mistakes to ensure it will not happen in the future.

A general is that an organization always overvalues the differentiation of the organization culture from the national culture. Different organization from a given country share many characteristics (Hofstede 1991; Zander 1997). They are differing according to the ethical values focused on and the implementation approaches used. Some companies focus on the core values of integrity that reflect basic obligations, such as respect for the rights of others, honesty, fair dealing, and obedience to the law. Other companies highlight ambitions values that are ethically desirable but not necessarily morally obligatory such as good service to customers, a commitment to diversity, and involvement in the community (Paine, 2001).

As widely defined, integrity is more than ethics (Duggar, nd.). However, the issue arise is that it is hard for one to be classified as an individual of integrity. This is because the meaning of integrity itself is ambiguous and confusing, for instance, Turnnet (nd.) stated that individual of integrity will be responsible to keep promises. In practice, we are hardly to judge whether someone are keeping promise based on their responsibility. For instance, an employee could work overtime because he wants to keep his promises and responsibility in completing tasks. It may also happen because the employee intends to earn overtime paid by dragging the given tasks. Unlike ethics, integrity has no guideline or code to be followed. As mention by Duggar, integrity is about fair, just and acceptable. However these elements are hardly to be standardized as it is very subjective.

Print Email Download Reference This Send to Kindle Reddit This

Share This Essay

To share this essay on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ just click on the buttons below:

Request Removal

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please click on the link below to request removal:

Request the removal of this essay.


More from UK Essays

Doing your resits? We can help!