1.1 Challenges of teaching anti-corruption, integrity and ethics

To illustrate the application of this theory let’s explore the concepts of integrity, ethics and corruption introduced in the E4J Modules. Watch this video in which Matthew Ayibakuro highlights the challenges of teaching integrity and ethics.

Download this video clip.Video player: e4j_unit1_matthew_new.mp4
Skip transcript

Transcript

MATTHEW AYIBAKURO
Yes. There are a number of challenges with teaching ethics. The first of these is that ethics is such a broad term that we have to agree on the scope, the definition, and the purpose of the use of the term, generally, but also in particular circumstances.
Secondly, ethics can come up as some form of moral superiority from people with great wisdom trying to impose their views on others, and we do not want to go down the road either. And so, we have to be very careful in teaching ethics to ensure that we are sensitive to these issues and that we are learning as well as including the perspectives of others in the process.
Thirdly, there is a challenge with a generation of materials, which need to encompass very different perspectives. It has to include different age groups, languages, and nationalities. So we have to be very conscious that we are including what's going to work generally, but also what will work in particular circumstances.
There is also the related challenge of ensuring that the principles discussed in class are relevant to the students in the particular context of their respective societies, and that they are able to apply this knowledge outside the classroom in their careers and in broader society. This is particularly important in circumstances where, for instance, the codes of principles of ethics that you're teaching are actually at variance with social norms in that particular society. You then have to have conversations that ensure that the students are able to internalise, but also contextualise the knowledge.
Now while there's admittedly some other challenges with teaching ethics, we are confident about the progress that E4J is making in addressing these challenges. And of course, the United Nations is used to dealing with these sorts of challenges. And so, with good leadership and teamwork, we are sure that these problems can be addressed.
End transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

E4J Ethics Module 1 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] provides a brief introduction to the concepts of integrity and ethics and Anti-Corruption Module 1 explores how the concept of corruption is defined and applied. These materials are designed to be used by lecturers who wish to provide their students with conceptual clarity and expose them to ethical dilemmas and ethical decision-making. A summary of some of the key points are provided below, but you may also want to introduce additional material into your teaching to explore these concepts in more detail.

Anti-corruption, integrity and ethics

The concept of integrity has been added in order to broaden the focus from the more traditional fields of ethics and anti-corruption and to provide a conceptual link between them. Combined, the concepts of anti-corruption, integrity and ethics provide a more comprehensive perspective - they allow us to move beyond discussions about the difference between right and wrong, in order to focus on relationships and communities as well as individual behaviour.

Discourse about integrity

Integrity is a term that is used in many different contexts, for example by referring to information, art or music. From a philosophical perspective discussions about integrity usually involve an ethical or moral dimension, according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Ordinary discourse about integrity involves two fundamental intuitions: first, that integrity is primarily a formal relation one has to oneself, or between parts or aspects of one's self; and second, that integrity is connected in an important way to acting morally, in other words, there are some substantive or normative constraints on what it is to act with integrity. (Cox et al., 2017)

Activity 1.1 How would you define integrity?

In as few words as possible write below your definition of integrity.

You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Answer

Integrity is defined as "strict adherence to moral values and principles" by the Chambers 21 st Century Dictionary (Chambers, 1999). The following discussion on integrity mentions the origin of the word and different applications:

The concept of integrity has been derived from the Latin "integritas" (wholeness). It is defined as consistency between beliefs, decisions and actions, and continued adherence to values and principles. When someone is described as a person of integrity, the suggestion is that such a person is not corruptible as a result of the "wholeness" and "connectedness" of the values and principles that such a person subscribes to.

Integrity is often used in conjunction with ethics, suggesting that the values and principles that are adhered to should be ethical values. Some of the values that are often mentioned in this regard are honesty, openness, accountability and trustworthiness.

Organizational integrity refers to the ability of individual organizations to develop and implement an integrity management framework, and for employees to act in accordance with the values of the organization. (Visser, 2007 p. 278)

Unit 1: The power of prior knowledge and experience

1.2 Types of integrity