Survey questions ethics in construction industry

Codes and standards are needed for ethics in the construction industry, according to a recent survey by the Construction Management Association of America and FMI.

The survey found 84 percent of respondents had encountered unethical “industry-related” acts during the past year. Of those respondents, who included owners, architects, construction managers, contractors and subcontractors, 34 percent said they had experienced unethical acts numerous times over the past 12 months. Sixty-one percent of the study’s respondents thought the construction industry was “tainted” by unethical acts.

More than 270 people answered questions related to construction practices. Approximately 30 percent of the respondents were specialty contractors, 29 percent were general contractors and 23 percent were construction managers.

Overall, the survey found people want to be trusted and want to be able to trust the people they do business with. The study also concluded that communication during collaboration is extremely important for completing successful projects. When asked about ethical codes, the majority of respondents thought there was a need for everyone to have the same ethical codes with employees and co-workers, but only a minority actually practiced the procedure. The majority of the respondents agreed that associations should take the lead in drafting industry ethical codes, but they didn’t like the idea of more government regulation.

Some of the key ethical conclusions the survey drew are:

· A breakdown in trust and integrity is bad for business.
· If practices in construction aren’t more ethical, the industry and individual companies can lose their good reputations.
· Codes and standards for ethics are needed.
· A fair and ethical bid process needs to be created.

To read the survey findings in its entirety, or to obtain a copy, click on the link to the right.