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What happens when there’s no code of conduct?

This article contains questions for use when there's no code of conduct in place for ethics, or you're not sure what it is.
birdseye view photo of red trainers standing in front of an arrow for wrong on the left and right on the right
© CIOB Academy

If you don’t have a code of conduct in place or know what it is, a checklist of questions is useful when faced with an ethical dilemma as detailed below:

21 Question Framework (Bibb 2010)

Understanding the Situation

  1. Do I understand the situation?
  2. Have I got all of the facts and information I need?
  3. Are there any legal issues involved?
  4. What is it about the situation that I believe may make it an ethically problematic one?
  5. Have I looked at the situation from the perspective of all those involved?
  6. What is the truth of the situation?
  7. What is my intention?

Making the decision

  1. Have I spoken to all of the people involved?
  2. What are the options?
  3. Are there other possibilities that I may not have thought of?
  4. Have I got the courage to do what is right?
  5. How sure am I that this is the right decision?
  6. What are the upsides of this decision for all concerned?
  7. What are the downsides of this decision for all concerned?

Checking the decision

  1. What are the consequences of my decision for all concerned including me, others, the company, shareholders and family and friends?
  2. Is my decision the right thing to do?

Acid test questions

  1. Would I be happy for my decision to be published in the media?
  2. Would I be happy for my friends and family to know about my decision?
  3. Is there any part of me that thinks this decision is wrong or that I am ashamed of it?
  4. If I implement this decision is my conscience clear?
  5. What is the best decision for the highest possible good for all concerned?

If you’d like to learn more about construction ethics and compliance, check out the full online course from the Chartered Institute of Building Academy, below.

© CIOB Academy
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Construction Ethics and Compliance

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