A managed approach to ethical decision making on construction projects

The main aim of this paper is to develop a framework for ethical decision making on construction projects. The framework consists of three levels of decision making – individual, project and corporation – to reflect the nature of the industry whose main product is ‘projects’. In addition, this paper highlights principal ethical theories such as virtue ethics, deontology, consequentialism (utilitarianism), and relativism and explore their potential applications to ethical decision making in construction. The Agent (virtue ethics)-Action(deontology)- Results(consequentialism) concept has been combined with Kohlberg’s moral development model which has been modified in terms of stakeholder approach. Based on these applications, ‘ethics screen’ has been produced in which ethical decisions can be filtered and scored to select the best decision. An example of ethics screen has been presented and discussed to demonstrate the practicality and benefits of ethics screen as a decision support tool for construction managers.