Ethics Behaviour Frieze
Ethics in construction
Ethics is a branch of moral philosophy that involves the principles of guiding and recommending behaviours and conduct. Stemming from the Ancient Greek philosophers, ethics is based on the central questions of ‘what is the best way for people to live?’ and ‘what actions are right or wrong in particular circumstances?’ Trying to answer these questions involves considering issues such as good and evil, virtue and vice, and justice and crime.
In the construction industry, ethics has developed both at a professional and organisational level. Professionals such as lawyers, engineers and surveyors have ethical codes to uphold as befits their profession, as do organisations. Ethical behaviour is often measured by the degree of trustworthiness and integrity with which companies conduct business.
Some of the largest construction contractors in the world have faced multi-million fines for significant breaches of ethics and compliance on issues from bribery and collusion to modern slavery. A recent high-profile example was the case of contractors having blacklisted workers.
Ethics is a key facet of a company's corporate social responsibility (CSR) which it must endeavour to fulfill. The increasing emphasis on sustainability and environment in construction further requires companies to apply ethical standards to their activities.
Personal ethics tend to be a product of beliefs, values, personality and environment; while an organisation’s ethics must be instilled by its culture and leadership. Ethical failure in an organisation can often be the result of poor promotion of ethical practices by managers, as an individual’s ethics become subsumed among the wider non-observance of professional ethics.
In 2003, the Society for Construction Law considered the question of ethics in the construction industry. It published a report which highlighted that organisations should comply with the following ethical principles:
The intention was that these principles should be applicable to the work of all construction industry professionals. The Code identified unethical conduct as deliberate or reckless disregard for ethical principles that are recognised practice in that profession.
In December 2016, International Ethics Standards (IES) Coalition published the first set of ethics principles for professionals in land, property, construction, infrastructure and related professions. For more information see: International Ethics Standards Coalition.
The above article was copied from Designing Buildings Wiki last updated 02 Oct 2020.
It was decided by the construction industry ( 2003 ) that there would be one singular code of ethics that construction companies should follow. In essence the below code of ethics that DGK Construction Ltd have adopted is the same as in the article above but with very slight changes in the descriptions.
1. Honesty - act with honesty and avoid conduct likely to result, directly or indirectly, in the deception of others.
2. Fairness - do not seek to obtain a benefit which arises directly or indirectly from the unfair treatment of other people.
3. Fair reward - avoid acts which are likely to result in another party being deprived of a fair reward for their work.
4. Reliability - maintain up to date skills and provide services only within your area of competence.
5. Integrity - have regard for the interests of the public, particularly people who will make use of or obtain an interest in the project in the future.
6. Objectivity - identify any potential conflicts of interest and disclose the conflict to any person who would be adversely affected by it.
7. Accountability - provide information and warning of matters within your knowledge which are of potential detriment to others who may be adversely affected by them. Warning must be given in sufficient time to allow the taking of effective action to avoid detriment.