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This module is one of several that provides an in-depth examination of the values included in College of Business Administration's (from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez) Statement of Values. It highlights the features of this value, provides a summary table, and uses exercises to reflect on the importance and on the different dimensions of integrity. This module is part of a collection of modules that explores all five values included in the Statement of Values: justice, responsibility, respect, trust, and integrity. It is also developed as part of an NSF-funded project, the EAC Toolkit--NSF SES 0551779 and relates to the ongoing NSF project, GREAT IDEA.


(The Standford Encyclopedia has an excellent article on integrity by Damian Cox, Marguerite La Caze, and Michael Levine. Visit http://plato.stanford.edu/)

Integrity has been identified as a core commitment of the University of Puerto Rico's College of Business Administration. Robert Solomon, a virtue business ethicist, has characterized integrity as a meta-virtue whose function is to unify and integrate all the other virtues. Of course, while it is controversial whether integrity is a virtue, it is clearly a value and of great importance in the College of Business Administration's moral perspective.

The Statement of Values, approved in May 2006 by College of Business Administration stakeholders is described there in the following way:

Promote integrity as characterized by sincerity, honesty, authenticity, and the pursuit of excellence. Integrity shall permeate and color all its decisions, actions and expressions. It is most clearly exhibited in intellectual and personal honesty in learning, teaching, mentoring and research.

This characterization has been a source of difficulty for students in Business Administration who frequently confuse it with trust and responsibility. It is also a point of controversy within the College of Business Administration as to whether integrity is a meta or unifying value or whether it is a separate value that stands by itself.

This module will cover integrity by setting forth its different senses or aspects, providing a table that summarizes these different senses, and by offering students a series of exercises that give them an opportunity to reflect on some of the difficulties raised in the literature that discusses this important concept.

What you need to know

1. integrity has five different senses

  1. Integrity involves integration that brings about unity or wholeness. A person of integrity over the long haul works to unify and integrate the constituents of character (its different traits) into a single, coherent identity. Among those constituents are emotion, thought, value, commitments, projects, beliefs, and attitudes
  2. Integrity involves consistency of action across situations and over long periods of time. (For example, this time span could encompass a entire career or even a lifetime). The Milgram experiments pose a special challenge to this sense of integrity; normally decent individuals act immorally in specially constrained situations under direct pressure. These results are cited to undermine the claim that character traits are robustly trans-situational and that integrity as consistency of action across situations is unfeasible as a moral ideal. But a weaker, more likely conclusion is that consistency of action is possible although difficult; it requires rigorous moral training where students practice and come to dominate strategies for resisting the forces that undermine character expression. The Hitachi Report (ref) provides grounds for developing strategies for designing and maintaining a moral career by setting forth the different organizational environments in which professionals work, how they challenge and constrain moral choice and action, and the different ways in which professionals participate in decision-making. Organizations can be built around different goals depending on whether they are driven by financial, customer, or quality based objectives. Each organizational environment presents different challenges to the professional who would maintain a moral career. Moral education becomes more individualized by helping students to identify the environment in which they will work and then offering strategies and skills particular to each for forging a moral career. Alongside this emphasis on organizational context is a new literature from business ethics devoted to values-based decision-making. For example, Mary Gentile’s “Giving Voice to Values: How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What’s Right” empowers students to stand up for and advocate moral values; it helps them by presenting procedures for resisting pressures toward wrongdoing. Another factor that promotes consistency is moral courage; this virtue empowers one to act consistently across situations even in the face of daunting challenges and formidable pressures to the contrary.
  3. Commitment : A person of integrity has a self-system built around moral beliefs and values. This moral content represents identity-forming commitments that express themselves through the choices, actions and projects carried out by an individual. Moral psychologist, Augusto Blasi, shows how integrity results from an educative process where an individual successfully integrates moral values and beliefs into the core of his or her “self-system.” Emotions, beliefs, attitudes, etc., provide vehicles for integrating value into the self-system. This process underlies the socialization of students into the non-moral values of a profession through formal and informal education. But Blasi focuses on the integration of moral content into the self-system and how this integration makes moral value a primary motive for action. Having successfully integrated moral value into the central self system, a person of integrity expresses moral value and moral character through his or her choice of action and conduct over a career. In this way, moral action expresses moral character. Conversely, should a moral agent do something wrong, this action goes against character and creates an identity crisis; how does the agent become responsible or own up to action that, because it is immoral, is clearly “out of character?”
  4. A person of integrity is a person of strong and focused conviction . He or she takes a stand—often a courageous stand—on the side of moral value. This sense of integrity applies especially where moral value is at risk; the person of integrity will stand up to this threat motivated by strong moral commitments, beliefs, and attitudes. This sense is closely related to the commitment sense; a person of integrity has something for which he or she takes a stand and in which he or she strongly believes. The opposite here would be what Martin Benjamin terms the moral chameleon; like a chameleon, this person lacks conviction and changes moral convictions and beliefs to match what dominates the immediate environment. Thus moral chameleon lacks any convictions strong enough to serve as the basis for “taking a stand.”
  5. Incorruptible : This sense is especially important in Latin American countries like Puerto Rico. Corruption has come to represent the unethical and the anti-ethical taken in the broadest sense. Thus, a person of integrity is the opposite of one who is corrupt; integrity points to the manifestly uncorrupt and incorruptible. Moral integrity here implies that the agent’s self system is solidly integrated around moral value. She is able to resist forces that threaten the unity of the self from both internal and external sources. Internally, one becomes corrupt by abandoning integration around moral value to impulse, desire, inclination, passion, and appetite. External corruption is generated by strong pressures toward wrongdoing that are generated by the organizations within which we work and live. A supervisor orders one to do something illegal or immoral; a peer steals from the organization claiming that everybody does it; organizational roles cover over one’s moral identity and lead one imperceptibly into taking on another persona in which wrongdoing is habitual. One opposes internal corruption by placing moral values in control over impulse, desire, inclination, passion, and appetite. One opposes external corruption by “going to the mat” in defense of moral value; one takes on the role of “giving voice to” moral value and moral considerations in organizational decisions, actions, and policies.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, The environments of the organization. OpenStax CNX. Feb 22, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11447/1.9
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