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The Ethics of Project Management

February 26, 2013

Merriam-Webster defines ethic(s) as:

plural but sing or plural in constr : the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation
a : a set of moral principles : a theory or system of moral values <the present-day materialistic ethic> <an old-fashioned work ethic> —often used in plural but singular or plural in construction <an elaborate ethics> <Christianethics

b plural but sing or plural in constr : the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group ethics>

c : a guiding philosophy

d : a consciousness of moral importance <forge a conservation ethic>

plural : a set of moral issues or aspects (as rightness)<debated the ethics of human cloning>

PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct is based on the values that the global project management defined as most important:  responsibility, respect, fairness, and honesty.  The Code has been revised several times since its adoption in 1983 in response to continuous change and new ethical challenges in the workplace and in our world.  (PMI, 2006)  The Code consists of  mandatory and aspirational standards.  

The PMI created the Ethical Decision-Making Framework (EDMF) in 2012 to assist individuals through the decision making process of dealing with an ethical dilemma. (PMI, 2012)

Both of these documents are essential tools.  All  PMI members and certified Project Managers are expected to be familiar with and adhere to PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

Additional Resources

Badaracco, J.L. (1998). Building Character.  http://cte.rockhurst.edu/s/945/images/editor_documents/BADARACCO%20Building%20Character.pdf

Badaracco, J.L. (1998). Defining Moments. http://www.strategy-business.com/article/9523?gko=3e58d

PMI (2012) Ethics in Project Management Community of Practice. http://ethics.vc.pmi.org/Public/Home.aspx

PMI (2012) Ethics in Project Management.  Why Ethics Matter (video) http://www.pmi.org/about-us/ethics.aspx

Schweriner, J.H (2007) Ethical Considerations for the Project Manager in Professional Services. http://www.schweriner.com/writing/EthicsConsiderationsfortheProjectManagerinProfessionalServices.pdf

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