1. Assistant Project Manager Jim Rains was 26 years old, when he newly hired at a large commercial construction company, and assigned to work on a $34 million dollar university classroom project in the southeast United States. Upon arriving on the job site, Jim was introduced to the head superintendent Bob Moore who had been with the firm for 25 years. Bob was an exceptionally proficient organizer and was often requested by clients for the supervision of their construction projects. As the project began, things on a whole went smoothly. In fact, Jim was learning and taking on more project management responsibilities every day.
2. The winter and spring months brought many days of rain. Often, Bob would have to send several carpenters home because there was nothing at the construction site for them to do when it was raining. This did not sit well with the carpenters when they could only work 3 days per week (and were paid for 3 days work) because of rainouts. Other times, Bob would not send the carpenters home, but would have them sweep up the floors that were already under roof. This activity would normally take 2 hours with a crew of 4, but Bob would be forced to pay them for a full 8?hour day. Some days Bob, being one to hate inefficiency (and the potential loss of workers not returning to the site after being sent home), sent some of the carpenters (who would normally be just standing around and sweeping on rainy days) to his home to work. There the carpenters would work on interior framing, finish carpentry, and hang drywall in Bob's new addition. Bob figured that as long as the carpenters were just hanging around the site with little to do, they might as well earn their pay.
3. The third time Bob sent carpenters to his house on a rainy day; Jim decided to talk with Bob about the issue of billing the carpenter's hours to the job site construction cost. Bob was very noncommittal about the whole issue leaving Jim with the dilemma of confronting one of the company's best superintendents. After three more days of watching, several carpenters go to Bob's house to work, Jim could no longer tolerate the practice and told Bob that it was unethical to use company employees for personal work. Bob told Jim that if he did not send the carpenters home on rainy days they would get paid for basically doing nothing. By sending the carpenters to his house to use their skills, he was keeping his workers motivated and satisfied instead of laying them off or having them do small, time?filling jobs.
4. Getting nowhere with the superintendent, Jim had some major decisions to make. Should he go to the project manager or someone in the home office? What would the company think about some new employee questioning the practices of a long?term employee?
5. Because Jim was new to the organization, he decided to talk with Bob one more time and asked that he discontinue billing employee hours to the construction project if they were in fact working on Bob's own house. Bob again refrained from doing anything, only commenting that the workers would soon be able to work a normal 5?day workweek because the rainy season was about to end. Jim still could not let the issue go.
Write a report on the above case study that addresses the following issues; and carry out research on project management practice and discuss the ethical implications in this case. We encourage you to use at least 10 key peer reviewed sources for your analysis (a combination of journals, conference papers, website or any other reliable source to support your analysis).
Assistant project manager Jim Rains has manifested a transformational style in leading the team. He is new to the organization and is quite inexperienced and therefore had decided to consult Bib before taking a decision . He found the ongoing process in the organization quite unethical and therefore decided to talk to Bob before taking any step against Bob considering Bob to be an experienced project team member. On the other hand, in trying to keep the team members, mainly the carpenters who could not work due to rains, motivated, Bob has decided to engage the carpenters in his house without consulting the project team . In this case, the project superintendent Bob has shown an autocratic leadership style.
The current situation indicates that the project is not being executed according to the project plan . With several non working days, the project will be delayed thus affecting the normal execution of the project. Furthermore, to prevent the loss of the human resources of the project, the project superintendent has engaged them for his personal work and is paying them from the cost assigned for the project. This is resulting in the loss of the project resources which should not be the case.
There are very less alternative to the current situation as the project is already running late. It was necessary for the project to identify the project risks when the project plan was to be made . There is a problem with project scheduling as well. The carpentry works should have been scheduled in such a way that it does not collide with the winter and spring rains . Alternatively, the carpentry works should have been completed before the rains.
The budget and the schedule risks should have been identified in the project plan. There is a risk of improper scheduling associated with the project that might result in project delay. The risks should have been identified in the project plan and the project scheduling should have been done considering the non working days of winter and spring.
If the risks were identified during the preparation of project plan, as an approach of mitigation of the risk, the carpenters were needed to be hired on a contractual basis . This could have eliminated the need of paying the carpenters in their non working days. In order to mitigate the risks that the project is currently facing, it is essential to engage the carpenters in certain other tasks of the same project.
The situation of involving the carpenters in personal work of project superintendent is unethical as the resources are being paid from the cost of the project. This situation therefore does not abide by the law since it is unethical to waste the resources of the project for something which is not a part of the project. According to the PMI code of ethics and professional conduct, a team should maintain honesty and fairness in project works . Bob Moore although being an experienced member of the team has not been honest with the project owner and therefore, the current situation does not abide by law or by PMI code of ethics and professional conduct.
In this situation, there are possibly two alternative choices. Either the carpenter should be completely stopped paying during the days of rains or should be made to work on the project site and not in Bob’s house. The advantage of the first alternative choice is that the cost assigned to the project will not be wasted. However, this might result in the carpenters getting de motivated or not returning to works after rains . The advantage of the second option is that the cost of the project will not be wasted on someone’s personal work. However, problems will arise if the rains continue for more time than expected which will result in the budget as well as the schedule risk.
For identifying the key decision in this case, the PMI ethical decision making framework is followed. According to the framework, a key decision is subjected to a number of steps, such as assessment of the facts and ethical dilemma, choosing the alternative options, analysis of the candidate decision, application of the ethical principles in the decision and making a decision . The key decision on analysing the situation includes involving the carpenters in some other works of the project site.
The candidate decision that has been taken will definitely result in the greatest good since the decision will not be unethical and the cost and the resources that have been assigned for the project will not be wasted on someone’s personal cause. The choice that is made to engage the carpenters in on premises work will be fair and beneficial to all concerned as in this manner, the carpenters will remain motivated.
The choice that has been made in justified since it abides by the ethical principle and PMI code of ethics. The choice furthermore will result in greatest good and therefore it is justified. Although the decision that has been made will not help in addressing the schedule risk, it will definitely address the ethical dilemma that had arisen in the situation . The project manager Jim has some critical decisions to take but before that he needs to ensure that the project resources are not misused.
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