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The importance of integrity in engineering, and a case study.

To what extent should your own moral views about war and warfare affect your professional judgement as an engineer in the defence industry?

Integrity is a difficult concept to define. It has to do with acting ethically, even when there is no personal advantage to doing so. A person of integrity will resist pressure to compromise their ethical standards and beliefs, whether that pressure comes from employers, clients, or anywhere else. When you are employed by an organisation, to an extent you take on that organisation’s values. But that doesn't mean you should stop questioning the ethics of your actions. Are there certain things that you would never do, even if refusing meant losing your job?

Having personal integrity involves being clear about your own values, and having professional integrity means engaging with the values of your profession. You might also think that having integrity means you should ‘stand for something’, trying to change practices and attitudes that you think are less than ethical. For some, having integrity involves trying to influence for the better the practices of your employer, your profession, or even society at large.

This interactive case study looks at integrity in the context of the defence industry

You can also see which Rules of Conduct are relevant to integrity