Project Ethics



pmwj37-Aug2015-Azam-BOOKBook Title: Project Ethics         
Authors: Haukur Ingi Jonasson & Helgi Thor Ingasson
Publisher: Gower Publishing Limited
List Price: £28.50 ($49.46)
Format: Soft Cover; 142 Pages
Publication Date: 2013     
ISBN: 978-1-4094-1096-6
Reviewer: Javed Azam, MBA, MSc, PME, P.G.
Review Date: June 2015



Ethical misconduct contributes and accelerates negative workplace culture and damages trust and project leadership effectiveness. Ethical dilemmas and associated problems are prevalent in projects where team members (multi-disciplinary-cultural) operate with differences in education, past experience, diverse religious backgrounds, values and various degrees of motivation. Ignoring and/or underestimating the significance of ethical project leadership behavior will lead to project failure. It is therefore, essential in the interest of the project that ethical dilemma/s are recognized and addressed quickly to enable the project team get back on scope delivery track.

The book offers the readers concepts of ethics in the context of project management and makes extensive references to philosophical theories related to ethics. It emphasizes the need for a broader approach for handling the issues than the Iron Triangle (time, cost & quality) alone. The authors attempt to describe project ethics using a set of decision-making tools and concepts to navigate around issues with reference to a value system and present a range of grey-areas and dilemmas in project management, suggesting how such issues can be approached. Ethical theories based on value, utility, duty & rights are discussed and a framework for ethical risk analyses is presented. The authors recognize the role of project leader as a key player in environment/s where values, people’s rights, and sensitivity to traditions and cultures are neglected in the pursuit of monetary rewards.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book consists of six chapters. The Chapter 1-Critical Path of Project Ethics, describes the fundamental concepts of ethics, related issues, role of ethics in projects and four theories (virtue, utility, duty & rights). An academic survey consisting of closed- questions related with the perception of ethics conducted in Iceland that formed the basis of research is also introduced. The Chapters 2 & 3 describe Outcome-Oriented Ethics (Virtue & Utility) while Chapters 4 & 5 describe various areas in Process-Oriented Ethics (Duty & Rights). The Chapter 6-Project Evaluation and (Ethical) Risks, attempts to describe conventional project risks and ethical risk factors and an approach incorporating the four ethical theories discussed in previous chapters. Based on project elements and ethical principles, the authors present the descriptive Project Ethics Tool (PET) matrix/chart, followed by brief Conclusions, References and Index.

The book presents 9-Cases across chapters concluding with open-ended questions for the readers to ponder and 2-Cases to apply in the proposed PET matrix.


To read entire Book Review (click here)


About the Reviewer

pmwj35-Jun2015-Azam-PHOTOJaved Azam, MBA, MSc, PME, P.G.

Dallas, Texas, USA



Javed Azam
has more than 25 years of technical/engineering and management experience in conducting and leading projects in more than 15 countries (U.S., W-Europe and SE-Asia). He served in progressively responsible positions as Regional Director, Program/Project Director and Chief Operating Officer of consulting engineering firms, and demonstrated his management, operations and leadership skills in the acquisition and implementation of complex and multidisciplinary projects (capacity enhancement, geotechnical, inspection/testing, environmental, infrastructure & water resources development) projects in often culturally challenging environments.

In addition to his technical certifications, Javed is a Licensed Professional Geoscientist (P.G., Geologist), Certified Professional Geologist (CPG), and a Certified Project Management Expert (PME). He is member of several professional organizations including the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) and the Project Management Institute (PMI). He is an alumnus of University of Texas, University of California-Berkeley, and Delft University of Technology/ITC.

Javed is driven by passion, integrity, high performance teamwork, and servant leadership to deliver successful project/program outcomes, and provides expertise to his clients and quantifiable value to his organization. He serves as a Principal Consultant with Development Group International in Dallas, TX and can be reached at [email protected].


Editor’s note: This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the PMI Dallas Chapter. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library. PMI Dallas Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published. Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.

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