CII guidance series on ethical culture: Building a culture of integrity

This paper is aimed at helping CII members to embed a culture of integrity within their organisations. To do so, it builds on a substantial piece of research conducted by the authors - the Real Integrity research project - and on other research.

Integrity is a word which is widely used but infrequently understood. It is distinct from legal and regulatory compliance, and from ethical behaviour, though it has a key role in ensuring all of these. Integrity is an aspect of character that leads people to behave ethically even when it is not in their interests to do so. The idea of ethical culture is also widely referred to, though difficult to grasp. A lack of ethical culture has been blamed for many scandals that have hit organisations in general and financial services organisations in particular.

This paper proposes a ten part framework for promoting integrity, which is built around the central principles of setting the right tone, supporting ethical decision-making, promoting openness and managing incentives.