Project Management Ethics: Responsibility,
Values, and Ethics in Project Environments
THOMAS MENGEL, PHD, PMP, UNIVERSITY OF NEW BRUNSWICK
The construction of a new dam and power generator
increases the service and viability of a regional supplier
of electrical power, it decreases the emissions of green-
house gas through a reduced need for power generated
by fossil fuel, and it generates local employment and
revenues not easily available otherwise. However, it
also disrupts the scenic environment and changes the
habitats for humans and other beings in a rural river
valley and it will most likely be followed by other proj-
ects to come.
Good or bad? Right or wrong? In trying to meet requirements, project management includes decision making based on choices and criteria. Ethics will be used as one basis for the decisions to be made.
MAKING VALUES, MORALS, AND ETHICS
Values are the major motif of our actions and endeavors (e.g., preserving our environment, making profit). They provide us with orientation and serve as a basis for responsible decisions.1
To make daily choices about good or bad behavior easier, societies and groups tend to develop principles and rules that guide our conduct. These morals are codified convictions and expectations as to what is considered good behavior (e.g., shop locally).