How To (and How Not To) Assess the Integrity of Managers (19 pages)

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the overall performance variable in our study (Winship & Mare, 1984). These results are presented
in Table 5. The set of five competencies significantly predicted overall performance,

2

(5)

ϭ 39.83,

p

Ͻ .001, Nagelkerke Pseudo R ϭ .27. However, only Vision and Execution made a significant

contribution; once again, the Integrity competency did not predict performance.

Conclusion

The foregoing analysis of subordinate ratings of an integrity competency is consistent with our
experience with performance ratings in organizations. Specifically, relative to other competency
dimensions, ratings of integrity are always more favorable and they rarely identify managers who
may lack integrity. Moreover, managers who got lower scores on integrity were no more likely than
those with higher integrity scores to be ranked as low performers overall, and this is at odds with
the research showing that integrity is prerequisite for effective leadership. Taken together, the
preceding analyses provide empirical support for our contention that competency ratings are
unlikely to identify managers with integrity issues.

Study 2: The Dubious Reputation Approach to Integrity

There is an alternative method that may identify managers with potential integrity problems. This
method differs from competency ratings in two ways. First, it focuses on the low end of the integrity
continuum. Second, it does not rely on ratings of observed behavior; rather, it asks subordinates to
estimate the likelihood that managers will engage in unethical behaviors. We refer to this as the
dubious reputation approach because it involves observer evaluations of the dark side of managers’
personalities.

Table 4
Competency Scale Scores for Each Level of Overall Performance Ranking

Competency scale

Overall Performance Rank

Lowest Performing,

n

ϭ 29

Solidly Performing,

n

ϭ 452

Highest Performing,

n

ϭ 191

M

SD

M

SD

M

SD

Vision

2.15

a

(.44)

2.24

a

(.44)

2.42

b

(.38)

Execution

2.14

a

(.49)

2.26

a

(.43)

2.44

b

(.36)

Managerial Courage

2.10

a

(.51)

2.19

a

(.43)

2.30

b

(.35)

Building Talent

2.03

(.57)

2.14

(.52)

2.26

(.47)

Integrity

2.64

(.49)

2.66

(.41)

2.75

(.37)

Note.

Means within a row with a different superscript are significantly different ( p

Ͻ .01).

Table 3
Correlations Among Competency Scales

Competency scale

Vision

Execution

Managerial Courage

Building Talent

Integrity

Vision

(.87)

Execution

.55

(.86)

Managerial Courage

.63

.66

(.84)

Building Talent

.59

.57

.52

(.88)

Integrity

.44

.48

.38

.60

(.85)

Note.

N

ϭ 672. Coefficients along the diagonal are coefficient alpha estimates of internal consistency

reliability. All correlations significant, p

Ͻ .001.

225

SPECIAL ISSUE: HOW TO ASSESS INTEGRITY

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