Ethical Issues Related to Project Management


Share this Article:

Our content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click links to our partners. Learn more in our Editorial & Advertising Policy.

Project managers have to face various ethical issues every day. The major problem is that they are not given proper training regarding ethical issues. The educational institutions only focus on the professional or technical knowledge. Ethical issues especially those related to workplace if not resolved properly, results in a decrease in the efficiency of team members. Ethical issues revolve around our working relationship with other team members. They may vary from one culture or region to the other as they are based on the norms, values, thoughts and beliefs of the individuals. There are no hard and fast rules for dealing with ethical issues so you have to use your entrepreneurial and leading skills in order to tackle ethical problems while doing project management.

Featured Partners

Ethics in Project Management

Apart from ensuring profit maximization, the project managers and their team members should also fulfill their ethical and corporate social responsibilities being a good citizen. Following is an overview of some of the most common ethical issues related to project management.

  1. Violation of Basic Rights of Workers – Most of the project managers misuse their powers by violating the basic rights of workers. They engage their team members even after office timings. Moreover, they do not give them any leave even if there is any emergency. These things decrease the motivation level of team members.
  2. Ignoring Health or Safety Standards – Although, some countries have protected the employees by setting health, safety and environmental standards but most of the project manager ignore these standards.
  3. Backstabbing – When it comes to project managers, then backstabbing is very common. The project managers always backstab their team members especially those who are lower than them. It is highly unethical.
  4. Making Shady Deals – Money attracts everyone so some corrupted project managers finalize those deals that give more benefit to their own self. These deals are mostly dangerous for the organization but still project managers accept them in order to get more value in the form of money. If we move a step forward then fraudulent cases are very common these days. The project managers use fictitious records such as show any expense that never occurred, etc.
  5. Wrong People on Job – Sometimes project managers hire their family members, relatives or friends in their team without considering that these people lack desired skills and qualifications.
  6. Bias – Bias is common everywhere whether it is project management or any other business. The project manager show biased behavior which leads to a disturbance in the whole working environment.
  7. Blaming Others – When you work in a team environment then failure of one person is considered as the failure of whole team. This is the most ethical behavior but unfortunately most of the project managers blame their team members or subordinates without thinking that being a project head it was also their responsibility to ensure success.

This is just a brief overview of the ethical issues related with project management. A large number of researches have been done on this topic and all researches give only one recommendation that there is a severe need for ethical training so that the project managers can behave and act well. There are various organizations that offer courses and training sessions for project managers. In these training sessions, they are given proper training to handle every type of ethical issues especially when you are working on international projects.

Sign up for our emails and be the first to see helpful how-tos, insider tips & tricks, and a collection of templates & tools. Subscribe Now

Featured Partners

Subscribe to Project Management Insider for best practices, reviews and resources.

Mehwish Majeed Avatar

Get the Newsletter

Subscribe to Project Management Insider for best practices, reviews and resources.