Ethical Integrity

Running Head: Ethical Integrity















Ethical Integrity

Ethics refers to a system of values where a person is required to conform to given standard of behavior of a given profession. The profession could include medical or law profession. Ethics is therefore a matter of moral issues that people of a given area or occupation are supposed to follow. On the other hand, integrity refers to the steadiness of values, principles and all actions that people are supposed to follow. Integrity can also be referred to as the possession of honesty and frankness in ones actions (Weber & Green, 1991). From the above definitions, it is evident that ethical integrity can be defined as the manner in which people are consistent with the values, behavior and moral issues that they are supposed to follow whether in their profession or  in business. This paper will concentrate on examining the practical, ethical/social obligations, the need for appropriate actions and the optimal ethical decision-making process existing in ethical integrity.

Ethics have been applied in the various sectors of our daily life. They have been used to guide the people on the way of behavior in their respective area of operation. The practical examples of ethics are the business ethics. Business ethics refers to the choice of either the right or wrong decisions by the business people. It relates to the business practices that are used by businesspersons. They relate to whether they conform to the societal and moral requirements such as avoiding corrupt deals or environmental degradation (Weber & Green, 1991). Therefore, conformity with these business ethics is what will be referred to as business ethical integrity. It is therefore important that the businesspersons are consistent with these ethics.

In addition, there are Christian ethics that are set for Christian believers. These are stipulated in the Bible and they are required to follow them to the letter. Such values include the Ten Commandments that describe the activities that Christians are not supposed to engage in. Therefore, Christians are supposed to apply consistently these ethics in their daily lives as per their beliefs (Hring & Hill, 2009). This consistency can be referred as Christian ethical integrity. Other than Christianity, there are other religious beliefs that can constitute ethics. They include the Islamic beliefs. These beliefs guide Muslims on their way of life and therefore conformity with these beliefs is what is referred as ethical integrity.

Ethical integrity is also being applied in other areas such as professional ethics. Professional ethics refers to the code of conduct that guides people in a given profession on how they are supposed to carry out their duties. There are many professions such as law and medical professions. The professional ethics are stipulated in such a manner that failure to conform to them can lead to expulsion from the profession. Therefore, it is important that people apply ethical integrity in their profession through conforming to the ethics or the code of conduct. One of the major ethical requirements of the medical profession is confidentiality. The medical practitioners are required not to disclose any information about their patients to any unauthorized persons without their consent. Therefore, ethical integrity helps in a better performance of duties that are given to people.

There is also the personal ethics. This is also a practical application of ethical integrity that relates to human conduct in relation to others. Therefore, it relates to the human behavior in our daily life. Personal ethics is applied in the types of relationships that a person engages in. An individual should always be considerate of the impact that their activities will have on others. They should know whether their activities would have a positive or negative impact on other people. When they conform to the norms of the society, it will be referred to as personal ethical integrity.

Ethical integrity has played a significant role in the social obligations. Ethical integrity has contributed a lot to the reduction of social evils such as corruption. Corruption is eliminated when people follow the values and ethics that guide their profession or business. In terms of business, people can use corrupt deals such as giving out money to obtain tenders instead of following the right channel. This will affect the society because those people that do not have such money will be eliminated from business. People employ corrupt activities to have an edge over their competitors and therefore make large profits. However, conformity with ethical integrity will guarantee good business practices and therefore people will have equal opportunities. In professionalism, corruption occurs when people compromise the code of conduct to gain more than they are supposed to gain. Professionals could extort money from their clients to offer them better services or employ improper practices to obtain customers.

Ethical integrity also encourages social responsibility. Social responsibility refers to the contributions that are made to the society or the duty that people owe the society. This has been important especially in the corporate where companies are required to engage in corporate social responsibility. This encourages accountability to the society as people carry out their duties (Ardichvili, et al, 2009). Ethical integrity will entail engaging in activities that do not have devastating effects on the environment or the society. This includes responsibility of the people in activities such as dumping or disposal of waste materials. People should be careful on their disposal behavior to avoid causing harm to the environment. An example is the emission of harmful gases into the air or disposal of harmful waste into the rivers. Such activities show lack of social responsibility and failure to comply with the business ethics. Therefore, when people comply with the ethical integrity, such activities are avoided. It is also the responsibility of the businesses to deliver quality products to the customers. Another social responsibility of the business people is philanthropy (Ardichvili, et al, 2009). This helps to get the graces of the customers and the community in general. In relation to the Christian ethics, ethical integrity helps to construct an organized society.

Ethical integrity has also played a significant role in society because it ensures that there is competence in the professionals. Competence is achieved when people comply with the code of conduct. This is transferred to the society because they will get better services. Competence is important especially in areas such as the medicine and law professions. Therefore, this will create confidence of the people in the professionals. The Christian and Islamic ethics instill values in people. Consequently, this is transferred to the society because they guide them in all their activities. When people comply with these ethics, the social evils are eliminated. Personal ethics play the most significant role when referring to competence. This is because when individuals are considerate of their actions, they will want to offer the best to the society.

Ethical integrity is also vital because it helps to induce other people into behaving ethically. This is because when people are obliged to follow a certain code of conduct, it will consequently influence their general behavior in the society. In addition, compliance with the ethics will also influence other companies into complying with the ethics. Compliance of other companies is influenced by the benefits that they see compliant companies gaining (Weber & Green, 1991). This is important because the benefits are transferred to the society. When the behavior of people is changed, there is likelihood that they will also change their behavior when they get to the society. People will have personal ethics.

From the above analysis, it is evident that ethics not only benefit the society but they also add value to the company. The companies that apply ethical techniques in their behavior are likely to enjoy high customer loyalty than their counterparts that are unethical. Consequently, the benefits are transferred to the society through creating more employment. When referring to the personal ethics, ethical people are respected by the society. The ethical persons are mostly referred to as persons of integrity. It is therefore conclusive that ethical integrity guides the way people live in the society. It is the basis of social order.

One of the greatest advantages of ethical integrity is that it helps in ethical decision-making. Ethical decision-making occurs when the decision maker complies with all the requirements that are necessary to arrive at a decision. In the business world, the decision-makers should always comply with the goals, missions and values of their companies (Ardichvili, et al, 2009). These act as guides on how the company will conduct their activities. Therefore, the company should always ensure that the decision-making process is ethical.

In addition, ethical decision-making process ensures that the decisions arrived at are not harmful to the society. They should always consider the impact that their activities will have on the society. They should aim at improving the lives of people. Ethical decision-making can also be applied in an individual context. Individuals should always engage in activities that will not harm any individual or the society. They should always consider the impact of their decisions. This will involve compliance with the rules and laws of the society. Therefore, ethical decision-making is guided by ethical integrity.

This analysis is evident of the impacts that unethical behavior can have on the society. They include the environmental degradation that can have fatal impacts on the society. A perfect example is the recent argument on the global warming. This has been because of industrialization and lack of ethical integrity. The industries have been emitting fumes that contain methane and other harmful gases into the air without caring about the impacts they will have on the environment (Floridi, 2007). As a result, there is significant reduction of rainfall and general increase of heat on earth.

Unethical behavior also brings in unfair business practices. This will negatively affect the society because such practices lead to elimination of the small businesses from the market. As a result, there is increased unemployment. In addition, the big corporations will create a monopoly where they are the only suppliers of goods and services. Such activities will affect the society because the prices will be controlled by these monopolies. The forces of demand and supply will not come into play. Therefore, the general cost of life will increase. This effect is brought by non-compliance to the business ethics.

Unethical behavior in individuals is one of the major causes of crime in the society. Persons that lack ethics are the major victims of irresponsible behavior. They are a liability to the society because they create some social unrest. In addition, they make a society to lose in terms of economic opportunities because people fear investing in such places. Due to such problems, it is necessary that some measures be taken to impose ethical integrity.

First, there is need for action that will ensure that ethical integrity is achieved in the society. There should be measures that are well stipulated to ensure that ethics are followed to the letter. In reference to the professional ethics, there should be constant performance appraisal of the professionals (Sama & Shoaf, 2008). This will help to evaluate how they have been conducting their duties and therefore it creates some accountability. This could be implemented in terms of performance contracts for the professionals. It will help to ensure that those that fail to deliver quality services are not given jobs. With such measures, the professionals will be diligent when performing their duties.

In addition, there should be measures to ensure that the businesses comply with the business ethics. This will include use of bodies that will ensure that they comply with certain requirements. Such bodies include the organizations that ensure that there is no environmental degradation. Therefore, heavy penalties and fines should be imposed on companies that fail to comply with their regulations. In addition, the government should ensure that there are guidelines on how the businesses are supposed to be conducted. Such guidelines should be used to protect the society against any form of devastating effects. The guidelines should be accompanied with the repercussions of failing to comply. This measure will help to ensure that businesses do not engage in business malpractices and hence the society will not be affected in a negative manner.

Finally, the society should also set standards that will guide the personal ethics. The personal ethics are dependent on many factors such as the cultural background of an individual and their area of operations. Therefore, it is important to identify the actions that will be retrogressive to the society by individuals. This should be through consideration of the impacts that ones actions will have on the other people. There should be penalties that will ensure that people do not engage in activities that are harmful to other people. Such activities include taking people to jail or the rehabilitation centers. This will ensure that people comply with the laws of the land that act as a guide on how people live. This will constitute ethical integrity. When these measures are taken, people will have ethical integrity.





Ardichvili, A., Mitchell, J. A., & Jondle, D. (2009). Characteristics of ethical business cultures, Journal of Business Ethics. Vol. 85, No. 4 pp 445-451.

Floridi, L. (2007). Global information ethics: the importance of being environmentally earnest. International journal of technology, vol.58, no.6 retrieved from, on 13th August 13, 2010.

Gedge, E., Giacomini, M., & Cook, D. (2007). Withholding and withdrawing life support in critical care settings: ethical care concerning consent, Journal of medical ethics. Vol. 33, no. 4 pp. 215-218.

Hring, T. V., & Hill, J. S. (2009). The Ethics of the Christian Life. Charleston, SC: BiblioBazaar, LLC.

Sama, L. M., & Shoaf, V. (2008). Ethical leadership for professionals: Fostering moral community, Journal of business ethics, vol. 78 no. 1-2 pp. 39-46

Weber, J., & Green, S. (1991). Principled moral reasoning: is it a viable approach to integrity? Journal of Business Ethics. Vol. 10, No. 5 pp 325-333

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