Difference Between Ethics and Integrity

Ethics vs Integrity
 

The concepts of ethics and integrity go in a similar line yet have a clear difference between the two. These two words are specifically emphasized in organizational settings. When speaking of ethics, in all professions there are ethics. People stand by these ethics as a manner of avoiding any dilemmas. Integrity, on the other hand, is more personal. It is a quality of an individual to be honest and fair in his or her actions and words. This highlights that while ethics are more outwardly stated, integrity is something much more individualistic. This article attempts to highlight the difference between the two while elaborating on the two concepts.

What doe s Ethics mean?

Ethics can be defined as rules and regulations that have been formed to allow an individual to work in accordance to moral principles. In almost all organizations, there is a code of ethics, which is imposed on the employees. By adhering to an ethical code, the organization is able to function with fewer disruptions from different parties. When there is a code of ethics, all employees have to follow it as there are adverse effects on those who do not follow the code. It is also believed that it allows to maintain professionalism and to ensure the protection of the client, employee, and the society at large.

Difference Between Ethics and Integrity - Ethics Example

Counselors have a code of ethics.

For example, let us take counselors. Counselors have certain ethics, which act as guidelines that they have to follow outlined by the American Psychologists Association and the American Counselors Association. The ethic of informed consent can be taken as an example. When a client comes for counseling, it is the duty of the counselor to inform the nature of counseling and answer all the questions of the client truthfully so that the client can make an informed decision.

What does Integrity mean?

Integrity can be defined as the quality of being honest and fair. This highlights that it is a personal choice. Ethics can be imposed on a person as whether he or she agrees with it is not a problem. However, integrity cannot be imposed on anyone. It has to come from within. Therefore, unlike in the case of ethics, this is not external but is more internal. It can be referred to as a set of principles that guide the behaviour of an individual. The actions, words are all in line with the principles that the person adheres to. A person with integrity does not need to be under observation or any rules to do the correct thing, but would be self-motivated towards the action, just because it is the right thing to do. In some cases,integrity would make a person go against ethical codes as well.

Difference Between Ethics and Integrity - Integrity Example

Officials especially need to have integrity.

For example, in counseling confidentiality is considered a prominent ethic. However, there are cases where the counselor has to go against the ethic of confidentiality for the very safety of the client. This highlights the difference between ethics and integrity.

What is the difference between Ethics and Integrity?

• Ethics can be defined as rules and regulations that have been formed which allow an individual to work in accordance to moral principles.

• Integrity can be defined as the quality of being honest and fair.

• Ethics are more external whereas integrity is internal.

• Ethics is not a choice whereas integrity is a personal choice.

• Ethics can be imposed on individuals, but integrity cannot be imposed on.

 

Images Courtesy: Counselor and person with integrity  via Wikicommons (Public Domain)