Ranked integrity organizations are characterized as organizations that are collaborative, practical, creative, crystal clear, with high employee morale, appreciative customer loyalty, and strong partnerships. They frame teams and establish value. Studies have shown that corporations with a culture of integrity tend to have governance systems with higher extrinsic ratings and higher characteristic of earnings. They tend to be good places to work, aggressive in their markets, and provide higher, more anticipated returns to investors. A deficiency of trust is indexed as the number one problem confronted by leaders today. Within each category of life, there appears to be an ethical failure among leadership. For example, the corporate world has Enron, WorldCom, Arthur Anderson, Tyco, Health South, and even the American Red Cross. According to several studies, the integrity dilemma is not only tormenting our leaders, but also our culture.
A MoodysEconomy.com survey published in January 2009 discovered that business confidence had reached record lows. According to a survey by the American Management Association (AMA) in 2002, 76% of managers listed ethics and integrity among their company’s corporate values, and yet 32% admitted that their company’s “actual practices did not match their public ethics statements”. BP has been blocked from seeking new contracts with the US government because of the oil company’s “lack of business integrity” during the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. Bank-customer interactions
Despite these distressing statistics, employees value integrity and honesty as a key Component for leadership. According to the research, followers desire for their leaders to be people they can trust – full of integrity. One survey named integrity the most important characteristic for CEO’s of energy companies (Capgemini, U..According to the research done by Kouzes and Posner which spanned twenty years, a variety of countries around the world, and over 75,000 respondents – the number one desired leadership characteristic was honesty. This is important research because it is constant over time and consistent across countries, cultures, and organizations. Followers not only desire, but also want to know that their leaders are truthful, moral, and full of integrity.
Not only has the lack of attention to fundamental integrity (individual, company, and system) resulted in the seeming proliferation of “bad apples” in corporate America, but the whole “barrel” also seems increasingly tainted, lacking in adherence to any kind of code that might breed trust, rather than deception, fraud, and malfeasance. Integrity at the individual level presumably provides for the kind of soundness and honesty that results in authenticity of behavior, being true to one’s own beliefs and standards (personal codes) as well as to the numerous corporate mission statements and codes of conduct that now mention not just one but a whol range of stakeholders.