Integrity leads to better relationship with stakeholders

In 2020, there were so many things were happened such as the pandemic, trade war, US presidential election, Brexit deal, the Trump peace plan and others. After these events, many people around the world thought that the world had strong uncertainty, and their personal purpose as well as corporate purpose in each company became more important than before. For example, Toyota Corporation, which is the world largest automotive manufacturer and the most valuable Japanese company, redefined its corporate mission as “Producing Happiness for All”. In other words, the management have to build good relationship with not only their shareholders but also all stakeholders more. In fact, stakeholder capitalism was referred in various meeting such as the world economic forum and the business roundtable.

When it comes to stakeholder capitalism, what are important? The answer might be different from person by person, but the good relationship with stakeholders is indispensable. Every stakeholder has each own motivation, purpose and expectation so that it is really difficult to build good relationship with every stakeholder. In order to do so, what skill or mindset should be acquired? We can say that we have to be people of the integrity before thinking what skills or ways of thinking are important. Thus, integrity helps us have better relationship with stakeholders as a whole.

What is integrity?

According to Oxford Living Dictionaries, integrity is defined as “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles”, and integrity is “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that you refuse to change” in Cambridge Dictionary. We see some key words related to integrity: Honesty, Moral, Principles and Never changed.

Without integrity, misbehavior happened

In general, the board of directors is a group of people who jointly supervise the activities of an organization, and their salary is usually higher than first line employees’. Therefore, it is natural that they should be people of the higher integrity and make the organization to have strong moral principles. However, misbehavior was actually happened if they do not take care of integrity.

For example, Stephen James Easterbrook, who is a British business executive and served as president and chief executive of McDonald’s from March 2015 to November 2019, was dismissed by the board of directors on November 1st 2019.This is because he had a relationship with a staff member, which is a violation of company policy.

This is just one example, there are so many incidents that people do not preserve integrity, such as accounting fraud, harassment and overworking.

Integrity becomes more important in SNS era

Next question is this: Is integrity necessary only for a board of directors? The answer should be “No”. In Social Networking Service (SNS) era, our behaviors, actions and remarks are easily recorded and uploaded in the Internet. As a result, they are recognized in the world and spread faster than before. Of course, we are human beings and sometime make mistakes, but we should keep the importance of integrity in our mind. In addition to this, whether it is SNS era or not, integrity always enables us to build better relationship with other people so that we cannot overlook the value of integrity.