Professional ethics and Integrity
Ethical standards exist in every profession. Integrity is a key element of what every profession considers appropriate ethical behavior. Integrity typically refers to an individual’s compliance with his or her standard principles and values or simply inference to follow your own moral or ethical convictions. In professional and/or business relationships, integrity is a much sought-after trait. Certainly no professional would hire a coder lacking integrity, just as no patient would likely choose a physician lacking integrity. Similarly, coders appreciate working with co-workers and for employers who exhibit integrity. Honesty, truthfulness, honor, dependability, and trustworthiness are all traits of related to integrity; as upholding a moral standard of conduct in both professional and personal endeavors accompanied by a commitment to the welfare of others. Standards governing professional conduct include knowing how you present yourself, your work ethic, and how you communicate with others. There is an expectation from stakeholders that the profession will expect or even demand an ethics-based culture by its members; based on underlying values of integrity, transparency and expertise. Employers expect employees to work the hours for which they are being compensated. Employees are not paid to socialize, surf the Internet, pay bills, update their Facebook status, etc. An employee with integrity will provide the level of effort his or her employer is paying for and will self-regulate work behavior. Employees acting with integrity resist the temptation to engage in non-work-related activities. An employee with integrity looks beyond his or her interests and pursues team-centered goals. This requires polite and professional communication, appropriate interactions, and respect for the thoughts and opinions of co-workers. When faced with the choice of acting with integrity, you are often required to choose the harder right rather than the easier wrong. Your fellow professionals, especially those serving on the ethics committee, as well as most employers, recognize that no one is perfect. In real terms, this is recognition that absolute integrity is something we can only strive to achieve. When you recognize lapses in judgment, how you react will ultimately define your character. In such circumstances, a person with integrity corrects the situation, learns from it, and accepts any associated penalty. Leaders with integrity live lives with what they espouse and their examples touch hearts and minds. As said by Oprah Winfrey that “Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s gonna know whether you did it or not”. Keywords: integrity, ethics, trustworthy, gracious, honesty, espouse, socialize, interaction, profession, team-centered goals.
It is an established tenet in ethical literature that integrity plays a fundamental role in human virtues, especially in professional life. So that we achieve it, we must first learn what it means to professionals. If we grasp its content and on what it depends, it will enable us to devise effective learning, training, or practicing strategies, which bring us to this end. The paper depicts some of these meanings and, using the cited literature on ethical integrity, attempts to relate this term to other human virtues established in any profession. The following sections review these various meanings of ethical integrity in an attempt to synthesize them and draw conclusions for further research.