A Discursive Justification Perspective on Organisational Integrity

Kaptein, Muel (Ed.): Research Handbook on Organizational Integrity, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham and Northampton, 2024, pp. 190-209.

32 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2022 Last revised: 5 Feb 2024

See all articles by Dirk Ulrich Gilbert

Dirk Ulrich Gilbert

University of Hamburg

Michael Behnam

Loyola University Chicago

Maximilian Schormair

Trinity College Dublin

Date Written: December 6, 2022

Abstract

This chapter starts with a definition of Organizationa Integrity (OI), before outlining differences between compliance and integrity as two key elements of every ethics management system. We propose that only a discur-sive understanding of OI can overcome the deficits of compliance strategies, which often dominate MNCs’ practices. That is, many MNCs adopt institutionalised ethics programmes, based on a culture of compliance, to detect and reduce unethical behaviour. But as we show, more compliance and more regulations in MNCs do not automatically generate “better” decisions, nor do they motivate people to become “better” managers. What is needed instead is a culture of integrity, which can fos-ter both compliance and a trusting environment within the organisation, allowing managers to reflect critically on what is right or wrong. Then we offer preliminary suggestions for integrating discourse ethics into OI concepts. We also present a Habermasian approach to OI in MNCs, based on discur-sive justification, and describe some potential implementations in practice, before we draw conclu-sions based on these insights.

Keywords: organisational integrity, discursive justification, multinational corporations, Habermas, compliance, integrity

Suggested Citation

Gilbert, Dirk Ulrich and Behnam, Michael and Schormair, Maximilian J. L., A Discursive Justification Perspective on Organisational Integrity (December 6, 2022). Kaptein, Muel (Ed.): Research Handbook on Organizational Integrity, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham and Northampton, 2024, pp. 190-209., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4294583

Dirk Ulrich Gilbert (Contact Author)

University of Hamburg ( email )

Allende-Platz 1
Hamburg, 20146
Germany

Michael Behnam

Loyola University Chicago ( email )

16 E Pearson St
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Maximilian J. L. Schormair

Trinity College Dublin ( email )

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