Institutions of integrity and the integrity of institutions

Many development problems are attributed to a lack of ‘ethical leadership’ or ‘integrity in leadership’. But what is ‘ethical leadership’? What is ‘developmental integrity’? How is it achieved and sustained? 

This study draws on a multi-disciplinary review of the literature on leadership, ethics, integrity and institutions. It argues that integrity and ethical leadership for development is not simply a matter of defining and enforcing codes of conduct (or of combating corruption). Instead, developmental integrity arises from the interaction of:

  • individual integrity (i.e. the moral choices of individuals); 

  • institutions of integrity (the moral ‘codes’ and norms of behaviour, including legal rules); and 

  • the integrity of institutions (institutions that are coherent, perceived as legitimate and that effectively promote development). 


Researchers: Eduard Grebe and Minka Woermann


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About DLP

The Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) is an international research initiative that explores how leadership, power and political processes drive or block successful development.

DLP focuses on the crucial role of home-grown leaderships and coalitions in forging legitimate political settlements and institutions that promote developmental outcomes, such as sustainable growth, political stability and inclusive social development.

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