Integrity (ethics)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Integrity is an ethical requirement of philosophical humanism for the greatest possible conformity between one's own ideals and values and actual life practice.

Personal integrity

Personal integrity is the continually maintained conformity of the personal value system and personal ideals with one's own speech and actions. The basis of the value system is a religious, political or humanistic based ethics . A person of integrity lives and acts in the knowledge that his personal convictions, standards and values ​​are expressed in his behavior. Personal integrity has been characterized as being true to oneself . But it also respects the integrity and dignity of other people and strives not to violate them. In contrast to integer , corruptible refers to a person who is not guided in their behavior by their own values ​​and principles, but by threats and / or temptations from external and internal influences.

The term “integrity” is complex and multifaceted. Integrity is something that a person is responsible for on the one hand. On the other hand, integrity also depends on the behavior of fellow human beings and on social living conditions. The term is mainly used when it is to be pointed out that the personality of a person, his entirety and integrity are fragile goods and must be protected against attacks from outside. In addition to this use, there is a second direction of meaning. The statement about individual people - they are "with integrity" - means that these people are "incorruptible" and adhere to fixed, deeply anchored values ​​that are consistent with their nature, to which they stand permanently and from which they cannot be dissuaded. The range of meanings also includes moral integrity, which, in connection with self-loyalty, also evaluates the moral admissibility of the essential values ​​that a person represents.

Integrity in the world of work

So that their public image is not damaged, corporations, financial institutions and public institutions should make sure that the people they work for have "integrity". There are social and professional positions in which a suspicion of a lack of integrity on the part of the owner can lead to his suspension, as the trust that people of integrity often enjoy can already be called into question by outspoken suspicion.

In the aptitude diagnostics in the world of work, it is assumed that an employee has a lack of integrity if he shows misconduct that is permanently contrary to the goals of the institution .

Integrity in Psychology

The psychologist and neo-Freudian Erik Erikson uses the term integrity to designate the last phase of his psychosocial phase model . The phase of mature and late adulthood, which he describes as integrity versus despair or life disgust, requires people in their second half of life to deal with the inevitability of death as a so-called developmental task. Only an authentic life of integrity that conforms to one's own values ​​and allows a review of one's own biography without bitterness can "take the sting out of death" and strive for real wisdom .

Organizational Integrity

Organizational integrity is a term from the social sciences that describes the influence of organizational structures on the integrity of their employees.

An organization can then be described as having integrity if both its formal and informal processes are in line with the underlying value system.

Organizational integrity is the main concern due to the major corruption and cover-up scandals in the 21st century. Since then, social scientists, including Peter Graeff, have been increasingly putting organizational structures to the test in order to research the causes of corruption.

In order to measure the influence of organizational structures on the behavior of an individual, the means of analytical deconstruction are mainly used.


  • Monika Roth: Compliance, Integrity and Regulation. A business ethical approach in 10 theses. Schulthess, Zurich et al. 2005, ISBN 3-7255-4977-X .
  • Arnd Pollmann : Integrity. Adoption of a socio-philosophical personality. Transcript-Verlag, Bielefeld 2005, ISBN 3-89942-325-9 (also: Frankfurt am Main, University, dissertation 2004).
  • Igor A. Belyaev: Human Being: Integrity and Wholeness. In: Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences. Vol. 4, No. 5, May 2011, pp. 633-643, ( online ).
  • Hans Bernhard Schmid: Moral Integrity: Critique of a Construct. 1st edition Suhrkamp, ​​Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-518-29593-9 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Bertino, Andrea Christian; Poljakova, Ekaterina; Rupschus, Andreas; Alberts, Benjamin; Stegmaier, Werner: To the philosophy of orientation . Berlin, ISBN 978-3-11-044695-1 .
  2. Pollmann, Arnd: Integrity: taking up a social-philosophical personality . Transcript, Bielefeld 2005, ISBN 978-3-89942-325-9 .
  3. Contribution to the "Berner Gesundheit" conference: How much body can it be? (PDF) Thomas Kesselring: Mens sana in corpore sano. Integrity from an ethical point of view. (No longer available online.) May 4, 2007, archived from the original on September 24, 2017 ; accessed on July 3, 2019 (original website no longer available).
  4. ^ Schmid, Hans Bernhard .: Moral Integrity: Critique of a Construct. 1st edition Suhrkamp, ​​Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-518-29593-9 .
  5. Arnd Pollmann: Integrity: taking up a social-philosophical personality . transcript, 2018, ISBN 978-3-8394-3641-7 , doi : 10.14361 / 9783839436417 ( [accessed on 18 June 2020]).
  6. Monika Roth: Compliance, Integrity and Regulation: a business ethical approach in 10 theses . Schulthess, Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-7255-4977-X .
  7. Peter Büche: Integrity as a Christian value for executives in business enterprises - Comparative presentation of different definitions of personal integrity. Thesis.
  8. Archive link ( Memento of the original from March 3, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Development of Personality - a Sequence of »Psycho-Social Crises«, Dr. Manfred Rosenbach @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. C. George Boeree on Erikson's theory of personality
  10. a b Guido Palazzo: Organizational Integrity - Understanding the dimensions of ethical and unethical behavior in corporations. In: Walther C. Zimmerli, Klaus Richter, Markus Holzinger (Eds.): Corporate Ethics and Corporate Governance . 1st edition. Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg 2007, ISBN 978-3-540-70817-9 .
  11. ^ Organizational Integrity. Individual Misconduct and the Legal Structure of Society. Cham, Springer International 2018, ISBN 978-3-319-94086-1 .
  12. ^ Graeff, Peter., Schröder, Karenina., Wolf, Sebastian, 1977-, Transparency International Germany .: The Siemens Corruption Case: Analyzes and Practical Conclusions of the Scientific Working Group of Transparency International Germany . 1st edition Nomos, Baden-Baden 2009, ISBN 978-3-8329-4203-8 .