Stakeholder matrix for ethical relationships in the construction industry

Stakeholder matrix for ethical relationships in the construction industry

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Stakeholder matrix for ethical relationships in the construction industry KRISEN MOODLEY * , NIGEL SMITH and CHRISTOPHER NIGEL PREECE Department of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, UK Received 31 May 2007; accepted 5 February 2008 The construction industry in general has a poor ethical reputation, being widely regarded by the public as a sector with corrupt practices, health and safety failures, and causing damage to the environment. A modern 21st century industry needs to consider how it orientates itself to the dilemma of conflicting stakeholder and ethical demands. The implications for stakeholders of the all pervasive drive for globalization in the construction industry is reviewed, leading to a consideration of the ethical relationship interfaces that construction organizations have with their stakeholders from the viewpoint of ethics, social contracts and corporate responsibility. Building upon earlier work a prototype stakeholder ethical responsibility matrix (SERM) is proposed as a management tool. Stakeholder management using an ethical perspective can meet the needs of both agency and stakeholder requirements. The increasingly complex global construction industry presents many challenges as key business decisions in construction are in reality moral decisions also. A completed version of the SERM offers a way forward for managing the ethical dimension of construction industry decision making. Keywords: Stakeholders, ethics, social contracts, responsibility matrix. Introduction The construction industry today is a global industry. In a globalized context contractors and consultants operate across international markets. Supply chains, specialists, plant and equipment can be sourced across the world. Globalization changes patterns of work and responsibilities. Construction has to identify stake- holders across a political, social, cultural and eco- nomic divide. The aim of this paper is to investigate the viability of ethical stakeholder relationship map- ping within construction. Commencing with an over- view of existing attempts to develop ethical relationships with stakeholders and the relevant key issues, the paper goes on to identify the complexity of ethical issues that exist in stakeholder management within a global context. This paper concludes by proposing a stakeholder ethical responsibility matrix, (SERM), as a tool that may assist firms in the construction sector in identifying and understanding their potential ethical responsibilities to a wide and diverse range of interested and influential parties at a corporate and project level. What do we mean by ethics? Ethics is the philosophical study of what is right or wrong in human conduct and what rules or principles should govern it (Robinson et al ., 2007). This immediately raises important questions; who should determine what is right and wrong in human conduct? Who should set the framework for what determines
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This note was uploaded on 05/06/2011 for the course ETHICS 234 taught by Professor Shah during the Spring '11 term at Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani - Hyderabad.

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Stakeholder matrix for ethical relationships in the construction industry

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