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Professional ethics in the construction industry

Table of Contents:

The construction industry’s activities and processes influence and affect human lives. It is also an industry that brings professionals such as clients, engineers, architects and quantity surveyors, as well as industry stakeholders together to relate. This relationship must be professional and guided by ethics (Martin & Schinzinger, 1996). Professionalism has been defined to mean the exercise of a body of unique and expert knowledge (Fellows, 2003). The need, therefore, for professionals in the construction industry to acquire relevant knowledge set is imperative for professional practice. The knowledge set for professionals goes beyond academic laurels to continuous professional development (CPD) to inculcate contemporary issues in practice. Similarly, Rosenthal and Rosnow (1991: 231) inform, “...ethics refers to the system of moral values by which the rights and wrongs of behavior... are judged”. Ethics are usually personal andreciprocal in application; thus, you treat others the way you want others to treat you.

Ethics and professionalism are critical for the sustenance of the construction industry. Adherence of ethics and professional practice has a direct impact on the success of the industry performance. Abdul-Rahman et al. (2010) posits that professional ethics are a pre-requisite to reaching sustained and acceptable quality in construction. However, Johnson (1991) argued that professionals tend to place premium on their obligation towards their clients more than their responsibility towards others, while Coleman, as early as 1998, had caused to lament on the non-adherence to ethical standards in the late 1960s. The practice of M&E must be undertaken within a framework of ethics and professionalism to ensure information generated is reliable and sufficient for decision making. Professionals operating within the construction business environment such as the quantity surveyors, engineers and architects, are guided by approved codes of ethics and professional practice. Nonetheless, Vee and Skitmore (2003) aver the need to complement the efforts of codes of ethics with ethics officer who will ensure sanctions for breach are enforced.

Aim of the book

Undertaking an effective monitoring and evaluation to ensure success and sustainability of construction projects has been a universal worry to project implementers such as donors, funders, development partners and professionals, in the construction industry. While it is considered inevitable to ensure that projects meet the approved quality standards, cost, time and, at the same time, observing the best construction practices and meeting the social, economic and environmental sustainability objectives, the influence of a robust, effective and integrated M&E system during project implementation would best complement team efforts in achieving the desired success and sustainability during project delivery. The current book aims to provide readers with an in-depth theoretical awareness on the integrated approach to the implementation of M&E. Also discussed in the book are the drivers, implementation challenges, determinants and benefits of effective M&E together with the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of construction project M&E practice. Further, a comparative overview of M&E practice in the context of the developed and developing countries is presented to elucidate the best practices. The book investigates and conceptualizes M&E as a five-factors-integrated model comprising stakeholder involvement, budgetary allocation and logistics, technical capacity and training, monitoring and evaluation leadership and monitoring and evaluation communication from an extant literature review and the Delphi study findings. The book expands the idea of M&E as an effective performance measurement and assessment tool for project management practice and to ensure optimization of the implemented projects to societal good and contributes positively to the environment. The book serves as a resource guide for construction professionals, researchers and other stakeholders alike. The book should interest

Project management 9 researchers and policy-makers in architecture, planning and management of projects, donors and development studies.


The first chapter of this hook briefly contextualizes M&E in the project management literature as a performance management and measurement tool. Technologies such as drones and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), building information modelling (BIM) and geographical information systems (GIS), were discussed as innovative and emerging technologies, upon their adoption and integration in the construction industry, will enhance the effective M&E of the construction process. The need for stakeholders to be guided by professionalism and ethics during the M&E of the construction process and activities in the industry is critical. The next chapter provides an overview of monitoring and evaluation research.

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