Code of ethics place integrity of interests of society and their security over the shoulders of professionals. Regardless of the job titles and posts, code of ethics is liable(Ladd, 1982) and should be necessarily followed as a benchmark for professionals around the globe.
Professionals and engineers face numerous ethical dilemmas(Kultgen, 1988) in everyday life ranging from working under harsh environments, working on incompetent projects, to even sexual harassment in some areas. Every code of ethics namely business ethics, ethics for employees and professional ethical practices should be applied in civil construction practices. The need for ethics is prominent to uphold the fundamental canons of moral code to maintain dignity and truthfulness among the mass. The paramount for safety of the society lies in the hands of ethically behaving professionals.
The principles and paradigms of ethics
The need of the construction business is to produce, procure and prosper based on ethical conducts. There is a need for enforcement at initiating stage, construction stage and also at post construction stage. There is a need for enhancement in human welfare(Anshen, 1998) by building, maintaining and sustaining trust among the public. Since, safety is a prime concern in construction, therefore ethics are primarily based over safety concerns and serving the public with the fidelity(Hamzah et.al, 2010). To support the professional, technical, or entrepreneurial societies, ethics for professionals the prime necessity. Striving to achieve competency and prestige for the company and for the enterprise fundamental principles of ethics. The need of the hour and for the precious environment is to follow sustainable development strategies and these also form a part of the business ethics as described by the organizations.
To prevent any kind of damage, hazard, disaster, accident or mishap engineers need to abide by the code of ethics by performing services in the areas matching the level and the degree of their competency(Carr, 1988). There is a recent upsurge of unethical practices in construction business such as bribery, corruption, bid cutting, bid shopping, cover pricing, or many other payment games being played by professionals. So, in order to curb these malpractices ethical implementation is necessary.
In order to maintain the prestige and aura of the company social and public statements made by the managers or professionals of construction agencies need to be clear, concise, crisp and complete. Any kind of failure should be followed by immediate ethical norms and practices by giving objective replies and taking trustworthy remedial actions. The need of ethics to be followed at the time of conflict is a major area of concern. Construction engineers and professionals must rapidly resolve any kind of conflict arising in order to serve the general interest of public swiftly and with caution. For a construction firm of organization it is essential to maintain the reputation and the professional fame in order to remain competent in the construction business.
A highlighting trait of competitive advantage is to function in the industry abiding by the set code of laws and ethics of the business market. In construction business there is no scope for fraud with raw materials and this is an evidence which profoundly speaks of the ethics to be followed by the professionals. There is a zero-tolerance policy in case of corruption and this should be included in the order book defining code of ethical practices(Loulakis,2003). In case of tender disclosures or documentation there is a dire need to follow business ethical practices in order to remain trustworthy and dependable. It is critically important to evaluate the ethics in the background of environment without any discrimination of performance in services on the basis of caste, creed or color without violating any lawful regulation in professional concern.
Hence, the need of ethics is showcased in every domain and region of the professional arena from security, integrity, trust, performance, learning and skill refining.
The laws of ethics
Ethics are regulated by the government using various laws. The need to abide by the ethics are also in regard with respect of the law and following the regulations(Lavers, 2006) imposed by the law. Buildings Act 1993 clearly states the objectives(Australian Government, 2009) of enhancing the amenity of buildings by providing effective systems for building and by enforcing safety matters related to construction by regulating the building practitioners(McCarthy, 2012). It is mandatory for the professionals and engineers to go by the word of law and follow mentioned ethical practices in order to survive in the industrial arena. It is hence mandatory to follow the ethics and any breach in code of conduct may lead to a sign of professional misconduct under laws and acts. Laws are keys for setting standards for certifying building functions in public interest. Laws proclaim to follow the ethics and morals as per the expectations of the customers.
There are several case studies calling for ethical practices to be taken seriously and morally. Quebec Bridge collapse and failure costed 88 lives and took a long span of time to complete(Pearson, 2006). The planning, design and execution were a mistake from the side of engineers. The engineers did not practice ethical means of execution while construction leading to disaster of collapse. Post disaster, other projects followed general guidelines for clearing ethical examinations to showcasing good character in order to understand the values required behind the construction and inherent processes.
Another case study which is a striking example of unethical practices which became a lesson for others was Citicorp in New York. The structure of the building was unsound and due to unethical practices to save labor and material costs by replacing them with weaker bolts. The act of a leader to alert the damage of Citicorp was used as an example of ethical behavior for future. The need of ethical behavior was safety of public in empowering of strategic decisions(O’Leary, 2008).
The summary of the study lies in the dire need of following and practicing business ethics in construction business in today’s competent world. For security and safety of general public, following ethics is a must for professionals and engineers to prevent any disasters and set an epitome of ethical code of conduct for future construction business personnel to ensure trust and corruption free tender acquisition, high quality of raw material, regard for workers and responsibility post construction.