Teaching Ethics for Construction Management Majored Students: Standalone or Micro-insert? – Globalization and Sustainability Considerations
Wang, George; Buckeridge, John S.
Ethical decision-making is central to the practice of construction management. This is no more evident than in the twenty-first century, when the construction industry must function in very diverse organizational contexts. While construction companies pursue projects in international markets, many investors are buying or forming joint ventures with domestic companies. New and varied professional attitudes have recently arrived in western markets because construction companies are increasingly employing managers from developing nations to undertake commercial and infrastructure engineering projects. The construction industry, in both developing and developed countries, is vulnerable to unethical behavior or corruption – vulnerability in part because of differences in culture and managerial systems across countries; and this diversity is manifest in the different perspectives of professional ethics and professional practice. On the other hand, the incorporation of sustainability principles in natural resources, environmental management, the economy and adoption of a “reduce, reuse and recycle” philosophy in construction and constructed facilities are clear imperatives. Our contention is that construction management students must be fully cognizant of these imperatives. However ethics education for most construction management students currently lacks global and sustainability components, and, further, curricula only require “micro-inserts” of ethics teaching without any systematic or standalone course for professional education. This is contrast to engineering programs, such as civil, environmental, and computer engineering. This paper discusses the nature of the construction industry, globalized trends, sustainable development and confirms the necessity for integrating ethics education into the curriculum – in anticipation that this will ensure the highest level of professionalism when construction management students graduate.
This paper is part of the conference proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education 's 123rd Annual Conference and Exposition in New Orleans, LA in June 2016. © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education