The Training Gap

My Starting Point: The Integrity Digital Learning Module (IntegrityDLM) is my answer to a question I struggled with while designing the Compliance Minor curriculum of the LAW Program at the Hague University of Applied Sciences. As the continuing news of financial and corruption scandals shows, professionals, who have been trained in what is right and wrong, are not ACTING on that knowledge. There is a gulf between the ‘head knowledge’ acquired in trainings, such as mine, and their actual actions in the workplace.

This is not a question of HOW to make a ‘Good’ or a ‘Right’ decision.  In most cases well-trained professionals already KNOW what the right thing to do is. Rather, this is symptomatic of a gap between ‘KNOWING’ and ‘DOING’. This gap between ‘intention’ and ‘action’ undermines the best anti-corruption and white-collar crime prevention efforts. 

My Question: Can we train our professionals to ACT in the way they ALREADY KNOW is RIGHT? Can we make them more resilient in the face of ethical pressures? Can we capitalize on the years before they enter the work field to better prepare them for such pressures?  Can we better address the gap between ‘intention’ and ‘action’ in our undergraduate curriculum courses with an ethical component?  

My Teaching Innovation:  Using established theories and pedagogies, my teaching innovation sponsored by a  Netherlands Initiative for Education Research, Comenius Senior Fellow Grant, is the IntegrityDLM. This is a private, safe place, for students to start on a very personal journey of self-reflection and integrity skills development. Using the IntegrityDLM, students are made more aware of their personal integrity frameworks. Students develop moral ‘reminders’, ‘commitment’ & ‘reference points’ to encourage moral intentionality. Moral intention is expressed in ‘core values’ and ‘personal codes of conduct.’  Moral action, is rehearsed in pre-scripted responses to common reasons and rationalizations.

Using the IntegrityDLM, students learn more about their moral identity and HOW to empower themselves to DO what they already KNOW is right in the face of moral pressure.  The module adapts for use pedagogy developed by (1)  Sheehan and Schmidt, ‘Preparing accounting students for ethical decision making: Developing individual codes of conduct based on personal values’, J. of Acc. Ed. 33 (2015) 183–197 and  Mary Gentile,  Giving Voice to Values, How to Speak your Mind when you know what is right, 2010, Yale University Press.

Using exercises that facilitate personal values identification; values-based responses to ethical dilemmas; and values-based post decision making strategies that encourage living in alignment with core values, students begin to develop the moral resilience to bridge the gap between what they ‘know’, and what they ‘do’. 


NRO Projectendatabase Onderwijsonderzoek, A.O.Makinwa,  Integrity Education Using an Anti-Corruption Compliance Digital Learning Module,