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Project Management Ethics: Decision Making

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Ethical decision making is essential not only for the project manager, but at every level from project teams: suppliers, stakeholders, and anyone else involved in a project. Ethics are a set of principles that guides decision making based on personal values of what is considered right and wrong. (Schwalbe, 2014) In a project setting, where thorough communication is a key element to the success of the project, ethical decision making often quickly defines the line between truth and lies. When trying to cover up unethical behaviour, communication begins to falter because conflicting accounts of operations will begin to emerge. As the project manager, I would demand ethical behaviour from my team members and expect the same from external suppliers and contractors. If the conflict is minimizing costs while improving quality, the key to the best possible solution is still communication. In a project, the sponsor is the decision maker of what ultimately is done. If the sponsor is demanding lower cost but higher quality, it would not be fair of the project manager to leave those demands for their team members to accomplish. In the end, it would likely lead to an unsatisfied sponsor for one reason or another, and questions that would have to be answered by the project manager. The best solution would be for the project manager to speak with the sponsors to find a middle ground that lowers costs and finds an acceptable level of quality for the sponsor. While it may seem that the project manager is saving his own reputation by avoiding project conflicts, it is also his or her responsibility be fair to the team by saving them from a damaging reputation in the future.

Schwalbe, K. (2014). Information Technology Project Management (7th ed.). Boston, MA 02210: Cengage Learning.

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Ethics are dependent upon the morals and values possessed by individuals within the project management group. One person's ethical standards may differ from another person, but the main ...

Solution Summary

This project is a response to a post about ethics in decision making.