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BUS641: Project Monitoring and Delivery: Getting Started

Access PM Ethics In The News Assignment

In the PM Ethics In The News assignment, you will need to access current events information.  The information sources you will want to use for this assignment include:

  • magazines
  • newspaper articles (national, regional, or local news)

To access this information you can use library databases or the Web.  This guide will help connect you information resources that will help you successfully complete this assignment.

When assessing information needs always start with a clear understanding of the assignment!  To help with this, the remaining PM In The News Assignments can be easily accessed here!

Defining Ethics

Most people understand ethics as doing the right thing.  According to Stanley (2008), most of us grew up knowing the difference between right and wrong, and proverbial ethical values include “respect, honesty, fairness, responsibility, and good manners” (p. 14).  The problem is that these values may not mean the same to everyone.  Gardner (2007) states that clarifying the distinction between the ethical and the respectful mind is important, and that ethical values demand “a certain capacity to go beyond your own experience as an individual” (p. 52).


Gardner, H. (2007). The ethical mind. Harvard Business Review, 85(3), 51-56.

Stanley, T. L. (2008). Ethics in action. Supervision, 69(4), 14-16.

What is an ethical dilemma?

Just because a project is in trouble does not mean that it is facing an ethical dilemma.There are many problems that arise that do not cause ethical problems, such as a delay due to weather in a construction project.Taking prudent steps to get the project back on schedule, such as bringing in more workers or authorizing overtime, is not an ethical dilemma. The ethical dilemma would arise if the project manager decided to save the budget and pay overtime by cutting corners or using inferior materials.

The ethical dilemma arises when there is a situation with several solutions, at least one of them following unethical practices. Duggal (2011) provides this example: You have been tasked with giving your client a status presentation. Knowing that not all of the requirements of the project can be met, and the high probability of schedule delays, you put together a presentation to convey this information. The sales executive asks to review the presentation. He sends it back with these key issues deleted and tells you that you need to highlight only the positive issues because the company is bidding on another contract from this customer and negative status could impact this bid. This is your ethical dilemma. Do you follow the executive’s advice and risk not winning the new project?  Or do you do the right thing and present the true status to the client? The ethical decision is to go forward with your original presentation.  If you do, you risk losing the new project, and could even have your current project canceled. On the other hand, the client may appreciate your honesty and decide to work with you to make the necessary changes to conclude the project successfully. They may even award you the new work, feeling that you are not trying to deceive them.

There are many other ethical dilemmas that are not so clear-cut. The Project Management Institute (PMI) has developed a Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct to which all Project Management Professionals (PMPs) must adhere. Most other professional organizations have Codes of Ethics as well. Check them out!


Duggal, J. S. (2011). What do you do when you face tough dilemmas? Retrieved from

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