What Does It Mean to Act with Integrity?

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Kluwer Academic Publishers


This exploratory study was aimed at understanding more about theconcept of integrity, first, and second, to identify whatintegrity looked like in practice. The sample consisted of over300 high school students who completed a college entrance essayabout acting with integrity as part of their college application. Their responses were content analyzed along a number ofdimensions. Results revealed, in the first place, some confusionabout the concept of integrity. The focus of acting withintegrity was most often directed to one's own behaviors ratherthan the behaviors of other people but, in this regard, theactions typically assumed a leadership responsibility (in apersonal rather than organizational context). Self-esteem wasone very important reinforcing outcome of such actions.