The field of ethics and integrity research is rapidly gaining traction because it focuses on the identification of interventions that would lead to the improvement of individual behaviors in society. Existing studies have developed varying definitions of ethics and integrity. Ethics refers to the moral principles that govern the behaviors of a person (Carroll 11; Jurkiewicz and Maesschalck 5). Integrity, on the other, refers to the quality of being honest and demonstrating strong moral principles (Jurkiewicz and Maesschalck 5). Ethics and integrity, as their definitions reveal, are highly interrelated concepts because they both outline the moral principles that govern an individual in his or her actions. The definitions of ethics and integrity sampled above have important implications in academics because they enable students to develop strong moral characters characterized by integrity, honesty, and responsibility, among other moral principles.
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Students acquire behaviors and actions associated with respect, honesty, social responsibility, and truthfulness through cultural socialization in the school settings (Carroll 21). Carroll (21) argues that children are not born with strong moral behaviors. They acquire these behaviors through interaction with different parties in society. The school environments are the most important settings for the acquisition of these behaviors since children spend a significant amount of their time in school. As such, schools which instill behaviors that are in line with the behaviors specified within the definitions of ethics and integrity are likely produced students who demonstrate a high degree of honesty and integrity.
Research findings have pointed increasingly to the holistic effect of a culture of ethics and integrity on educational measures such as characters of students. For example, a school environment that allows a culture of ethics and integrity to thrive often produce students that demonstrate a high degree of honesty and responsibility in their careers (Jurkiewicz and Maesschalck 7). Ethics, as defined in the previous section, involves the moral principles governing the behaviors of individuals. In education, the important moral principles that help guide the behaviors of students include honesty, respect, and social responsibility. For example, students may apply the moral principle of honesty in their learning processes by adhering to the highest standards of academic honesty.
Schools that have academic integrity policies which clearly define forms of dishonest behaviors such as lying cheating, and plagiarism, often produce highly responsible students into the society, especially in the workplace environment. When these students enter the different workplaces, they challenge their companies to produce their products while ensuring a high degree of responsibility in society. Most businesses operating in the current economies are believed to be motivated by profits at the expense of promoting important values such as integrity, transparency, and honesty. However, when students from schools with strong ethical cultures become stakeholders in these businesses, they help foster an environment in which honesty and social responsibility are acknowledged. To this extent, one can argue that students whose behaviors and actions are governed by the moral principles highlighted in the definition of ethics often become important members of society.
The definition of integrity highlighted in the previous section also play important role in shaping the character of students. Research studies on integrity reveal that individuals should be honest in their endeavors and should be able to stand up for what they believe is right. As summarized by Jurkiewicz and Maesschalck (13) in their study, students that learn integrity in the classroom are able to apply similar principles to other aspects of their lives. Students taught in schools today would become leaders tomorrow (Jurkiewicz and Maesschalck 13). Therefore, it is important to teach students the importance of demonstrating strong moral principles in all aspect of their lives. For example, students should be taught the importance of conducting themselves with impartiality and fairness when analyzing situations, especially when conducting research studies. Accordingly, when they become leaders in the future, students would be able to apply the characters of impartiality and fairness when making critical decisions that affect the lives of many people. In other words, the students would grow up understanding the importance of avoiding conflict of interest during decision-making processes.
Ethics and integrity are the hallmarks of good character. School environments that adopt a culture of ethics and integrity play important role in producing that students that demonstrate strong moral principles such as respect, impartiality, social responsibility, transparency, and honesty. The students are able to apply these principles in different aspects of their lives such as in the workforce. Students grow up having a clear understanding of the importance of doing the right things or standing up to what they believe is right. Therefore, in the future, the field of ethics and integrity research should focus on ascertaining the most effective ways for implementing a culture of ethics and integrity in all schools, as it is integral for ensuring that students are taught to become morally upright individuals in the society.
Ethics And Integrity. (2019, May 08).
Retrieved May 23, 2022 , from
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