It is important to define integrity. What is integrity? There may
be a number of possible definitions of integrity. Below is one possible
A person with integrity consistently behaves in a manner that
reflects honesty and fairness.
The above definition of integrity suggests that there are two basic
components of integrity: honesty and fairness. One integrity
example involving honesty would be a person who describes his or her
personality accurately. An integrity example involving fairness
would be a person who strives to be fair in a letter of reference.
Fairness is an element of integrity that could have a number of
different conceptualizations. It would depend on one's standards for
what is fair. It may be based on equality, effort, equity, or some other
standard. For example, if equality is perceived to be an attribute of
fairness in a company, all employees may be allowed to share their
opinions and participate in decisions. If effort is perceived to be an
attribute of fairness, then employees who make a great effort at their
jobs may receive an increase in their salary.
The above definition also suggest that integrity reflects consistent
behavior. Thus, a person who is only sometimes fair or honest may
not be judged to have integrity.
Integrity and Ethics
Integrity and ethics are related. Ethics reflects principles of
moral behavior, and integrity is a basic principle of moral behavior. In
fact, integrity can be viewed as the foundation of moral behavior.
Moral behavior reflects consistency in honesty and fairness.