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The Impact of Integrity As A Positive Phenomenon

We define integrity as the state of being whole, complete, unbroken, unimpaired, sound, in perfect condition – clearly, the definition of a positive phenomenon. As is the case with any positive phenomenon – for example, gravity – there are effects caused by actions related to that phenomenon. The action of stepping off a cliff will, as a result of gravity being a positive phenomenon, cause an effect (whether one likes
the effect or not). Likewise, action that is consistent or inconsistent with integrity will, as a result of integrity being a positive phenomenon, also cause an effect (again, whether one likes the effect or not).

When integrity is revealed and dealt with as a positive phenomenon as it is in our model, the relation between integrity, workability and performance is as follows:

1. Maximum workability for an object, system, person, or other human entity (such as a partnership or corporation) is a necessary (although not sufficient) condition for maximum performance,

2. Integrity as we distinguish and define it (the state of being whole, complete, unbroken, sound, in perfect condition) is a necessary (and sufficient) condition for maximum workability,

3. It follows that for an object, system, person, or other human entity integrity is a necessary (although not sufficient) condition for maximum performance, and

4. It follows that as integrity declines, the opportunity for performance declines.

5. This leads to the empirically refutable proposition that, ceteris paribus, as integrity declines, performance declines.

From “Putting Integrity Into Finance, A Purely Positive Approach” by Werner Erhard and Michael C. Jensen; published in the Capitalism and Society Journal