Drawn from the work by Werner Erhard, Michael Jensen and Steve Zaffron in creating a new model ofintegrity: “Integrity: A Positive Model that Incorporates the Normative Phenomena of Morality, Ethics andLegality”, available at SSRN. See: http://ssrn.com/abstract=920625
Some of the material presented in this course/paper is based on or derived from the consulting and programmaterial of the Vanto Group, and from material presented in the Landmark Forum and other programsoffered by Landmark Education LLC. The ideas and the methodology created by Werner Erhard underliemuch of the material.
FAIR USE: You may redistribute this document freely, but please do not post the electronic file on theweb. We welcome web links to this document at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=983401
We revise our papers regularly, and providing a link to the original ensures that readers will receive themost recent version. Thank you, Michael C. Jensen, Kari Granger, Werner Erhard
Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=983401Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=983401Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=983401
We present a positive model of integrity that provides powerful access to increased performance for individuals, groups, organizations, and societies. Our model reveals the causal link between integrity as we distinguish and define it, and increased performance and value-creation for all entities. And our model provides access to that causal link.
The philosophical discourse, and common usage as reflected in dictionary definitions, leave an overlap and confusion among the four phenomena of integrity, morality, ethics, and legality. This confounds the terms so that the efficacy and potential power of each of them is seriously diminished.
In this new model, we distinguish all four phenomena – integrity, morality, ethics, and legality – as existing within two separate realms, and within those realms as belonging to distinct and separate domains. Integrity exists in a positive realm devoid of normative content. Morality, ethics and legality exist in a normative realm of virtues, but in separate and distinct domains. This new model: 1) encompasses all four terms in one consistent theory, 2) makes the “moral compass” potentially available in each of the three virtue phenomena clear and unambiguous, and 3) does this in a way that raises the likelihood of those now clear moral compasses actually shaping human behavior.
This all falls out primarily from the unique treatment of integrity in our model as a purely positive phenomenon, independent of normative value judgments. Integrity is thus not about good or bad, or right or wrong, or what should or should not be.
We distinguish integrity as a phenomenon of the objective state or condition of an object, system, person, group, or organizational entity, and define integrity as: a state or condition of being whole, complete, unbroken, unimpaired, sound, perfect condition.
We assert that integrity (the condition of being whole and complete) is a necessary condition for workability, and that the resultant level of workability determines the available opportunity for performance. Hence, the way we treat integrity in our model provides an unambiguous and actionable access to superior performance (however one wishes to define performance).
For an individual we distinguish integrity as a matter of that person’s word being whole and complete, and for a group or organizational entity as what is said by or on behalf of the group or organization being whole and complete. In that context, we define integrity for an individual, group, or organization as: Honoring one’s word.
Oversimplifying somewhat, honoring your word as we define it means you either keep your word (do what you said you would do and by the time you said you would do it), or as soon as you know that you will not, you say that you will not to those who were counting on your word and clean up any mess caused by not keeping your word.
Honoring your word is also the route to creating whole and complete social and working relationships. In addition, it provides an actionable pathway to earning the trust of others.
We demonstrate that the application of cost-benefit analysis to one’s integrity guarantees you will not be a trustworthy person (thereby reducing the workability of relationships), and with the exception of some minor qualifications ensures also that you will not be a person of integrity (thereby reducing the workability of your life). Therefore your performance will suffer. The virtually automatic application of cost-benefit analysis to honoring one’s word (an inherent tendency in most of us) lies at the heart of much out-of-integrity and untrustworthy behavior in modern life.
In conclusion, we show that defining integrity as honoring one’s word provides 1) an unambiguous and actionable access to superior performance and competitive advantage at both the individual and organizational level, and 2) empowers the three virtue phenomena.
Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=983401Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=983401
IntegrityWhere Leadership Begins
A new model of Integrity
Center for Public LeadershipJohn F. Kennedy School of GovernmentHarvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts10 May 2007
Michael C. JensenJesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business, Emeritus,
Harvard Business SchoolSenior Advisor, The Monitor Group
Drawn from: Werner Erhard, Michael C. Jensen and Steve Zaffron“Integrity: A Positive Model that Incorporates the Normative Phenomena of Morality, Ethics and Legality”unpublished working paper in process, May 2007, available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=920625
Some of the material presented in this course/paper is based on or derived from the consulting and program material of the Vanto Group,
by Werner Erhard underlie much of the material.and from material presented in the Landmark Forum and other programs offered by Landmark Education LLCThe ideas and the methodology created
An Invitation• We will present a new model of Integrity,
that incorporates Morality, Ethics, andLegality
• After engaging with the model over thenext hour and a half, you are invited todetermine for yourself whether this modelhas the power to deliver on the followingpromises:
• When workability declines the available opportunityfor performance declines– While Integrity does not cause performance, there are other factors
that determine the level of performance, Integrity does determineworkability, and workability determines the available opportunity forperformance. No matter about the other factors, one cannot performbeyond the available opportunity for performance, and that isdetermined by Integrity
• Thus, Integrity is an important Factor Of Production
• We all take ourselves to be persons of Integrity. (Even Al Caponewhen interviewed in prison.)
• However, for the balance of this conversation, we suggestthat you be willing to take a look at your integrity from theperspective of this new model of integrity
• Taking into account Chris Argyris’ insight from 40 years ofstudying human behavior:
“Put simply, people consistently act inconsistently,unaware of the contradiction between their espousedtheory and their theory-in-use, between the way theythink they are acting and the way they really act.” 5
• The usefulness of taking one’s self to beconstituted by one’s word (at least for the purposesof Integrity) becomes even clearer when examinedin light of the fact that giving one’s word creates arelationship (or a new aspect of an existingrelationship)
• When I give my word, I have a new relationship notonly to the other, but with myself as well.
The Power Of Honoring Your WordWhen You Will Not Keep Your Word• 23.3% of the “ . . . ‘memorable satisfactory
encounters’ involve difficulties attributable tofailures in core service delivery. . . From amanagement perspective, this finding is striking.It suggests that even service delivery systemfailures can be remembered as highlysatisfactory encounters if they are handledproperly. . . One might expect that dissatisfactioncould be mitigated in failure situations ifemployees are trained to respond, but the factthat such incidents can be remembered as verysatisfactory is somewhat surprising.” (Italics inoriginal.) (Bitner, Booms and Tetreault – 1990, pp. 80-81)
• ETHICS: In a given group (the benefits ofinclusion in which group a person, sub-group, or entity enjoys), the agreed onstandards of what is desirable andundesirable, of right (good) and wrong(bad) conduct or behavior of a person,sub-group, or entity that is a member ofthe group, and may include defined basesfor discipline, including exclusion
• LEGALITY: In a given governmentaldomain, the system of laws andregulations of right and wrong behavior ofa person, group, or entity that areenforceable by the state through theexercise of its policing powers and judicialprocess, with the threat and use ofpenalties, including its monopoly on theright to use physical violence
• SINCERITY: A human internal statephenomenon regarding what an individualsays, or in the case of a group or entity,what is said for or in the name of the groupor entity, and defined as the degree towhich a person, group, or entity is well-meaning regarding that to which they aregiving their word
• Values are not the only source of conflict.But consider the multitudes of religiousand civil conflicts:– Crusades of the Middle Ages– Holocaust– Two World Wars– Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia– Mass Killings of the Tutsis in Rwanda
• Reasons, and even sincerity, are nosubstitute for not keeping your word, andtherefore no matter what the reason orhow sincere you were about your wordwhen you gave it, you will be out ofIntegrity if when you don’t keep your word,you don’t honor your word
You are unlikely to have Integrity when you giveyour word, unless you are awake to the fact that
• Integrity is not a virtue. SacrificingIntegrity, will sacrifice your opportunity forperformance
• Ultimately, all it takes to have Integrity isthe courage to say what of your word youare not going to keep, and to say it just assoon as you become aware of it, and dealwith the resulting mess for those who werecounting on your word
You are unlikely to have Integrity when you giveyour word, unless you are awake to the fact that
Credits and References• 1 “When you make somebody else do something against their will, to me
that is not power at all, that is force, and force to me is the negation ofpower.” Reich, Charles “Power And The Law”
• 2 Bennis, Warren (2007) “The Challenges of Leadership in the ModernWorld”, in “American Pshychologist”, Vol. 62, No. 1.
• 3 Joseph Rost has it close to correct when in his book Leadership for theTwenty-First Century he writes: “… the concept of leadership does not addup because leadership scholars and practitioners have no definition ofleadership to hold on to. The scholars do not know what it is that they arestudying, and the practitioners do not know what it is that they are doing.”Rost, Joseph C. 1993. Leadership for the Twenty-First Century. Westport,CT: Praeger.
• 4 Cox, La Caze, and Levine (2005) “Stanford Encyclopedia Of Philosophy”http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2005/entries/integrity/
• 5 Argyris, 1991, "Teaching Smart People How to Learn", Harvard BusinessReview, May-June: pp. 99-109