The role of management in influencing behaviour

A managerial focus on integrity is thus crucial to maintain favourable workplaces and research cultures. Overall, management is crucial because it has the power to enforce legitimate behaviour and punish illegitimate behaviour. This means that research leaders – i.e. leaders of departments, universities, networks etc. – have a potentially high influence on collective or cultural practices of research organisations (Paine, 1994).

Conceptual and empirical work in PRINTEGER developed the concept of organisational integrity work, which was defined as “the ongoing organizational activities and strategies associated with developing, repairing and/or maintaining integrity” (Breit & Forsberg, 2016). The work elaborated on the theoretical model of Scott (1995), which involves three pillars or dimensions of how to influence researchers’ behaviour. Research leadership must arguably involve each of these three pillars:

·         Regulative (e.g., legislative frameworks, mandates). In this pillar, integrity work is manifested in protocols, standards, and procedures. The mechanisms that are in play are primarily coercive, i.e. people act on the basis of integrity because they are sanctioned if they do not, and perhaps rewarded if they do.

·         Normative (e.g., values, authority systems, conformity pressures). Integrity is thus first and foremost a matter of social obligation, i.e. it is not steered through legal sanctions but through moral ideas and convictions. Here, ethical guidelines and codes of conduct represent some tools that management may use to clarify or develop the ethical principles surrounding research and research practices.

·         Cognitive (e.g., reward systems, pedagogy). Integrity is in this pillar developed through, for instance, legitimation and other types of cultural work, i.e. to develop a culture of integrity in research.