Professional ethics in the construction industry

Charles Vee*, Martin Skitmore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

158 Citations (Scopus)
1138 Downloads (Pure)


Provides results of a small, but representative, questionnaire survey of typical project managers, architects and building contractors concerning their views and experiences on a range of ethical issues surrounding construction industry activities. Most (90 per cent) subscribed to a professional code of ethics and many (45 per cent) had an ethical code of conduct in their employing organisations, with the majority (84 per cent) considering good ethical practice to be an important organisational goal. It was agreed by 93 per cent of the respondents that "business ethics" should be driven or governed by "personal ethics", with 84 per cent of respondents stating that a balance of both the requirements of the client and the impact on the public should be maintained. No respondent was aware of any cases of employers attempting to force their employees to initiate, or participate in, unethical conduct. Despite this, all the respondents had witnessed or experienced some degree of unethical conduct, in the form of unfair conduct, negligence, conflict of interest, collusive tendering, fraud, confidentiality and propriety breach, bribery and violation of environmental ethics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-127
Number of pages11
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


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