Ethics is not a buzz word. It cannot be treated as a flavor of the month. Now, more than ever, we see a real need for ethical conduct in project teams and within project organizations. I submit that construction firms must establish a zero-tolerance policy for ethical behavior. For too long, the bar has been set very low. It is time to raise it. We need to enforce transparency, honesty and integrity in the practice of project management, the execution of projects and the management of firms in the building industry. The cost of unethical behavior is NOT acceptable. The industry must escape its own inertia and transform its culture. Unethical behavior in the construction industry impacts all of us.
I refer you to the PMI’s ® (Project Management Institute’s ®) PMBOK ® Guide. There are five tasks identified in the Professional Responsibilities Domain Area of the PMBOK ® Guide:
- Ensure individual integrity and professionalism.
- Contribute to the project management knowledge base.
- Enhance individual competence.
- Balance stakeholder interests.
- Interact with the team and stakeholders in a professional and cooperative manner.
“The PMI ® Code of Professional Conduct emphasizes that Project Management Professionals ® must function as ‘role models’ and exhibit characteristics such as honesty, morality, and ethical behavior.” (Ref. Harold Kerzner, PhD, Project Management, 10th Edition, p. 343)