A New View of Integrity: A Life-Changing Model

59 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2015 Last revised: 22 Feb 2016

Werner Erhard

Independent

Michael C. Jensen

Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc.; Harvard Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Date Written: November 4, 2015

Abstract

There is far too much concern today about the conflicts of interest between people; for example, agency theory (the conflicts of interest between agents and owners) -- a favorite topic of Jensen -- and not enough attention paid to the damage caused by an individual's conflict of interest with himself or herself.

We argue here that a large amount of the damage inflicted on people and organizations is caused by actions of individuals that are not in their own self interest. That is, people consistently impose costs on themselves, their loved ones, friends, associates, partners, employers and the public by actions that are not in their own self interest.

In this presentation we focus on the integrity issues that cause huge problems in the lives of most individuals and to every one we come in contact with. These slides draw on the work on a new model of integrity that is available at:

http://ssrn.com/abstract=920625
http://ssrn.com/abstract=1542759
http://ssrn.com/abstract=1511274

We present a positive model of integrity that, as we distinguish and define integrity, provides powerful access to increased performance for individuals, groups, organizations, and societies. Our model reveals the causal link between integrity and increased performance, quality of life, and value-creation for all entities, and provides individuals and organizations access to that causal link. Integrity is thus a factor of production as important as knowledge and technology, yet its major role in productivity and performance has been largely hidden or unnoticed, or even ignored by economists and others.

Keywords: Integrity, Workability, Whole and Complete

Suggested Citation

Erhard, Werner and Jensen, Michael C., A New View of Integrity: A Life-Changing Model (November 4, 2015). Barbados Group Working Paper No. 10-02; Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 10-068. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2516603

Michael C. Jensen (Contact Author)

Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc. ( email )

7858 Sanderling Road
Sarasota, FL 34242
United States
617-510-3363 (Phone)
305 675-3166 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://ssrn.com/author=9

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field
Negotiations, Organizations & Markets
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-510-3363 (Phone)
305-675-3166 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://drfd.hbs.edu/fit/public/facultyInfo.do?facInfo=ovr&facId=6484

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

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