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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds From my region we have issues such as unfair treatment of contractors. We have poor documentation, little or no safety ethics or precautions so to say. So there are so many ethical issues. In Jordan, I think the biggest thing we have is the lack of safety ethics. Whilst it’s being improved now better than the previous years, it’s still a big issue. For example, you go there and I think it’s safe to say 70% of the projects don’t carry out the correct safety ethics and this is dangerous, and that’s not good for the construction industry image.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds So in my eyes, the ethics in all countries are the same but the degree is different from country to country and it’s more severe in developing countries. We have had issues with regards to the gender pay gap. We’ve women in the industry where some companies have reported that they’re paying 30% less than their male counterparts, that includes project managers and engineers. And we’re also trying to get more equality for women in the industry where we were trying to get them to undertake more roles such as project managers and engineers which will actually improve the issue that we’ve got with the skills gap. In every region, the leadership style is a bit different and how people see processes.

Skip to 1 minute and 34 seconds How the culture works also influence the ethical pattern in every country. If you go to Africa, for example, or Ghana, I’ve worked in Ghana as well, it’s completely different. Because of the leadership at the time or the structure, the procurement structure, there are several things that actually systems that breeds unethical practices, but how do we stop them? How do we prove otherwise? It’s through research.

Ethics as a contemporary issue

Ethics can be described as a set of principles that distinguish right from wrong. It can be both a practice and a process.

Ethics as a practice is applicable within the construction industry. The execution of most projects is guided by ethical constraints. Watch our industry professionals describe ethical issues in their own localities.

Ethical concerns

Some of the ethical concerns in the construction industry include:

  • Bribes and gifts as facilitation for a project
  • Bid rigging and cover pricing
  • Misrepresentation of completed work
  • Poor work quality
  • Technical incompetence

An understanding of these practices and how to avoid them within the construction industry is important. Ethics is culturally bound and can mean different things to different people in different places. This results in different interpretations of applicable ethical constraints.

For example, facilitating a construction project through gifting may be more acceptable, even standard practice in one country, but be regarded as an offence in another.

Ethics in academic research

Ethics as a process is an important consideration when carrying out academic research.

It involves:

  • An approval process required for your study which is approved by an ethics committee

  • The need to obtain approval for all data subjects and sources for data collection

  • Disclosure of how data will be analysed and stored, and how the confidentiality of data subjects will be protected

Your task

Can you identify ethical concerns specific to your locality and discuss how these concerns can be addressed?

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This video is from the free online course:

Global Issues in the Construction Industry

Coventry University