Project Ethics – A Book Review
Project Ethics: Advances in Project Management is a book that investigates critical success factors in project management. The PMI, and other PM associations, has a code of ethics and professional conduct. Ethics matters because managing projects involves making decisions. Project managers usually know what to do to achieve their goals. However, knowing how to do it can be puzzling, sometimes conflicting, when situations arise where values compete involving people, resources and the environment. Ethics is said to be the discipline that describes how to do things best, and this book practically explains the field of ethics for project managers, and presents a new method of evaluation.
This first paperback edition was published in 2013 by Gower Publishing. It has 142 pages and is about 0.5 inch thick. The front cover displays the title at the upper center part in large fonts, with the authors’ names below it. The publisher’s logo is placed at the upper right portion. Below the authors’ names is a photo of several overlapping images of working people and documents. Near the bottom is the subtitle displayed across the cover. ISBN-10: 140941096X; ISBN-13: 978-1409410966
Project Ethics has practicing project leaders and managers as its main target audience. General managers, project initiators, and program and portfolio managers will also find it valuable.
What Customers Say
“Project ethics will instill more confidence in the profession and help individuals become better practitioners.” PM World Journal, Vol. 2, No. 5
“By adding the ethical analysis learned from this book, project leaders will be able to consider the broader implication of projects.” PM World Journal, Vol. 3, No. 7
“The book offers project leaders a learning about the fundamental concepts of ethics in project management, enabling them to manage mega projects, deal with ethical dilemmas and take quick actions.” PM World Journal, Vol. 4, No. 8
Content, Approach, Style
Project Ethics is divided into an introduction and 6 chapters. The introduction concisely presents the aim of the book, a short discussion on the role of project leaders, the field of project management, ethics, ethics in project management and decision making, and how the book came about. It also has a book overview section. Chapter 1 is about the critical path of project ethics, a discussion of the importance of ethics, the exploration of other critical pathways with reference to philosophical ethics, and more. Chapters 2 to 5 discuss separately the different aspects of project ethics discussed in the first chapter. Chapter 2 is about virtue ethics; Chapter 3 is about utility ethics; followed by duty ethics, then rights ethics. The last chapter is about project evaluation and ethical risks.
The book is divided into paragraphs of readable lengths, separated by topic headers. The language used is understandable, with specialized terms defined in their use. The book uses bullet lists and figures. It also has plenty of short case studies and real PM examples from around the world. Also, a series of questions has been asked to encourage the reader to reflect on values, its relevance and a solution using a framework to deal with it.
Why Buy the Book
In both technical and non-technical projects, issues and conflicts may arise that can be personal, political, or general in nature. Project Ethics is a reference that tackles an area in PM that is rarely addressed. It provides guiding literature for project leaders to use 4 ethical concepts in 5 different levels throughout the project life cycle. It also presents a new method or tool that helps them identify, evaluate and make ethically sound decisions.
Books that Complement
Best Practices of Managing Government Projects by Young Hoon Kwak, et al, is a guide based on an academic research for project professionals in understanding the nature of government-funded mega projects.
Dr. Shugart’s Leadership in the Crucible of Work is a collection of essays based on subject pairs that can help project leaders gain insight on the impact of work on themselves, how to get back to the core principles of leadership, and how to use work opportunities to be better persons.
Haukur Ingi Jonasson is an Assistant Professor at the Reykjavik University School of Science and Engineering. He is the head of the Master in Project Management program at the university. He is currently a Consultant at the Nordica Consulting Group ehf. As a consultant, his clients include energy companies, banks, hospitals, the government, public and private organizations. He also has a private practice in psychoanalysis, and has received his PhD in psychiatry and religion at Union Theological Seminary, NY, USA. He has also published several textbooks in Icelandic including topics in project management, strategic planning, leadership and communication skills.
Helgi Thor Ingason is a Professor at the Reykjavik University. He is also a Professor at the University of Iceland, and teaches industrial engineering, project management, quality management, facilities planning and process metallurgy. He heads the Master in Project Management program at the university. He is the CEO of Nordica Consulting Group since 2005. He is a co-founder and board member of Alur, alvinnsla hf, a recycling company that works with the aluminum industry in Iceland. He is also a keynote speaker at Bentley University for the PM programs, and a member of the Research Management Board of the International Project Management Association.