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Ethics in Project Management: Principles of Management

The definition of ethics can be broad and vague because of the variety of elements it includes. However, according to the Project Management Institute (2017), ethics contains the values of honesty, fairness, responsibility, and respect, which promotes ethical decisions for professionals. These values are beneficial to the company, clients, and the project, since they provide quality work of employees and mutual understanding of sides that, in turn, ensure the reputation of the company.

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Importance of Project Managers Adhering to a “Code of Ethics”.

The project manager needs to adhere to a “code of ethics” to ensure that the team and the company work and maintain a good reputation. In other words, the project manager should make decisions that benefit customers and the company, solve conflicts between teams’ members and other stakeholders fairly, and avoid unethical behavior even if it could solve the problem (Furman, 2015). All these rules ensure professional and friendly relationships within the company and with society, thus, ensuring companies reputation.

Top Three Behaviors in My Personal Code of Ethics

The top three behaviors in my code of ethics are responsibility, honesty, and respect. All these principles are included in the definition of ethics and, although fairness is also an essential aspect, it is at the bottom of the priority list due to its predominant use in contentious situations (Project Management Institute, 2017). Responsibility is necessary for PMs who lead a team and should make various decisions every day; thus, they should accept and fix their and their team’s mistake. Honesty is critical for work with customer and team, especially if a PM need to tell about errors or refuse to take project due to company’s incapability. Finally, respect is an integral part of communication that ensures trust and understanding between sides regardless of gender, race, religion, or origin.

How a Project Manager Should Respond to Varying “Situational” Standards of Ethics

A manager must rely on ethical principles fundamental to all cultures and communicate concerning other ethical behaviors. In other words, multinational teams and their PMs can discuss situational standards and come to a solution. For example, in Bangladesh is ethical that children work and earn money for their living, while it is illegal in the US. Thus, Levi agreed to pay children under 15 if they go to school and hire them later, since the company cannot deprive them of the necessary income and use child labor (OpenStax, 2019). In addition, I believe that the company could not entrust me with an unethical task in American culture, as doing it would damage the company’s reputation. However, if I found myself in a situation where a foreign partner performs such a task, I would demand not to involve me in this assignment directly, but I would not interfere with its implementation.

References

Furman, J. (2015). The project management answer book (2nd ed.). Management Concepts.

OpenStax. (2019). Ethics around the globe. In Principles of Management. OpenStax.

Project Management Institute. (2017). A guide to the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK guide) (6th ed.). Project Management Institute.

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