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Professional ETHICS
HS 3050 Prof. N.Raghavan
24th Sep, 2013

Road Map

Basic Definitions Professional Ethics & other categories Engineering Ethics Ethics in Construction Survey findings Role of Personal Ethics Conclusions

10/1/2013

Ethics- Definitions

Ethics:

also known as moral philosophy/ rules of conduct a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality i.e. concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and injustice, etc.

Doing what is RIGHT (according to prevalent set of moral codes) and not necessarily what is BEST (which is your opinion likely to be clouded!)

Ethics is also a measure of concern for others & for the common good, as against the selfish motive
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Road Map

Basic Definitions Professional Ethics & other categories Engineering Ethics Ethics in Construction Survey findings Role of Personal Ethics Conclusions

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Professional Ethics

Profession

Professionalism

Professional Responsibility

Professional Ethics

Professions
Professions :

"occupations that both require advanced study and mastery of a specialised body of knowledge, and undertake to promote, ensure or safeguard some matter that significantly affects others well-being.

Are usually bound by a set of principles, attitudes or types of character dispositions that control the way the profession is practiced. This has been termed as Professional Ethics In general, professional ethics always include upholding honesty and respect in the profession over personal needs, conflicts or biases.
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Professionalism

Core of professionalism: the possession and autonomous control of a body of specialised knowledge, which when combined with honorific status, confers power upon its holders.

Denotes efficiency, knowledgeability, thorough familiarity with

work practices, great skill & ability,

Professionalism is about individual modes of behaviour that command respect and build trust.

The high standard that you expect from a person who is well trained in a particular job
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Professionalism (Contd)

A focused approach Having pride in what one is doing Being confident; competent Goes with Accountability & Responsibility Respect for people irrespective of rank, status and gender; Commitment to word and deed basing business related interactions to facts, figures and purely on the logic and understanding of the situation at hand. Not getting carried away by the passion of the moment.

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Professional Responsibility

Professional responsibility :: obligation of a Professional ( a Consultant, an Auditor,) to perform his duties in a fitting manner. This includes a professional and legal approach to the duties + the moral aspect of the profession (which is not always specified by the law);

ex. Giving the most economical design by a consultant and not only a safe design. This creates a predetermined bias for or against one of the clients, which the main client is usually unaware of.

One key issue is conflict of interest."

Professional Ethics

Profession

Professionalism

Professional Responsibility

Professional Ethics

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Ethics - Categories
Professional Ethics Business Ethics

Corporate Ethics

Engineering Ethics

Personal Ethics
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Business Ethics

It is often thought that business and ethics should not be mixed! Indeed, "business ethics could be an oxymoron!! Ethical business practices: actions and attitudes held by a business and its employees that are considered professionally and morally responsible patterns of behaviour. A business should not do anything to make money and get ahead; many companies are successful while still acting in a way that is ethical & serving the common good as well as the corporate good. Good Practices are best implemented & established as a top down program. Right of Conscientious Refusal: right of an employee to refuse to partake in unethical conduct when forced to do so by an employer. This may occur in work or non-work situations and may not necessary involve breaking the law
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Corporate Ethics

Corporate Ethics: codes of conduct followed by a corporate in the course of doing its business & outside it towards the Society at large
To ensure that business incentives do not conflict with morality and responsibility to stakeholders. Stakeholders: shareholders, fellow employees, anyone affected by the companys practices & the environment.

The code usually has a mission statement that sets out the overarching goals and beliefs, & set of guidelines on acceptable and unacceptable workplace behaviour and proper procedure and management.
How much the code is enforced depends on the management, and often on the transparency and oversight of company dealings.
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Role of the Organisation

Often cause of ethical failure in an organisation can be traced to its organisational culture & failure on the part of the leadership to actively promote ethical practices Personal Ethics are a reflection of beliefs, values, personality and background, but often propensity of a person towards ethical conduct is strongly influenced by value systems of the employing organisation. This often results in ones personal sense of what is right and wrong becoming buried amongst an organisations nonobservance of professional ethics. Unethical conduct may not eventuate from a persons upbringing, but rather is part of the process of learning practical business or being inducted into the practice
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Some Basic Issues


Conflict of Interests Gift vs Bribery Clarity of Perceptions

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Conflict of Interest

Professionals are expected to uphold professional ethics by not getting involved in any type of conflict of interest. A conflict of interest situation may occur when an individual tries to accomplish personal goals as a result of being in a certain profession. An interest which, if pursued, could keep professionals from meeting one of their obligations For example, a Consultant giving advice to the owner and the contractor for the same project (with or without the knowledge of each other)! Ex. Gifts and bribes, interests in other companies, insider information. Unchecked conflicts of interest may also lead to serious problems! Ex. Meryl Lynch,
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Gift Vs Bribery

Following two actions have to be satisfied to transform gift giving to the illegal practice of bribery:
1. The person receiving the gift may, consciously or otherwise, be disposed, predictably, to favour the interests of the gift giver 2. The gift must be of a non-token nature that it is reasonable to think that it may put the interests of the giver in a privileged status even when all else is equal.

Consequently, some corporations have allowed gift giving to their clients or potential clients only as long as these two conditions do not apply.

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What is the Right Thing to do?

Warren Buffet once devised a creative solution:

Assess all future business judgments using this rule:

If your business decisions and motives were published on the front page of a large circulation newspaper the day after you make your decision, and you will still feel comfortable, then do it.

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Ethical Conduct Personal qualities


Honesty Fairness Fair Reward

Reliability

Integrity

Objectivity

Accountability

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Road Map

Basic Definitions Professional Ethics & other categories Engineering Ethics Ethics in Construction Survey findings Role of Personal Ethics Conclusions

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Engineering Ethics

Developing the best possible design for the given specs & the committed framework Give the best possible quality for product/ services for the given specs & the committed framework Not overdesigning just because you are consultant to Owner, not dumping materials in a cost plus contract Design with user-orientation, for the environment, safety, sustainability Design with client benefit in mind, not to promote your own CV or sense of self-importance! Respect Intellectual Property Rights Bring out the potentialities for failure, if any. Check your work/ get it checked.
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Institution Of Engineers (India) Code of Ethics


www.ieindia.org

1.1.1 1.1.2 1.1.3 1.1.4 1.1.5

Concern for ethical standard; Concern for social justice, social order and human rights; Concern for protection of the environment; Concern for sustainable development; Public safety and tranquility.
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Road Map

Basic Definitions Professional Ethics & other categories Engineering Ethics Ethics in Construction Survey findings Role of Personal Ethics Conclusions

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CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

Second largest industry after agriculture in India Employs over 3 crore persons Annual monitory value (2006)

Rs. 310,000 Crore

Investment planned in Infrastructure alone in XII FYP (2013-18): total of Rs 3,88,000 Cr for Urban Transport (Rs. 3.88 Trillions)

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Projected Investment in Construction Industry in India Rs. Crores


Years Base year Total (200607 of Tenth Plan) 41,45,810 1,75,388 49,858 200708 200809 200910 2010-11 2011-12 Total Eleventh Plan

GDP Public Investment Private Investment Total Investment

45,18,933 192107 78166

49,25,637 2,27,327 94,252

53,68,944 2,73,543 1,15,724

58,52,149 3,32,355 1,46,762

63,78,843 4,11,226 1,84,687

2,70,44,506 14,36,559 6,19,591

2,25,246

2,70,273

3,21,579

3,89,266

4,79,117

5,95,913

20,56,150

Source: Planning commission of India Report

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India's Construction Spending Outlook

(IHS 2010) IHS Global Insight - India construction: importance of infrastructure construction in India

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Future Development of Indias Construction Industry

India GDP Construction Growth Construction industry will exceed the overall GDP growth

http://www.bcindia.com/en/p.21730941/Exhibitors/India

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Civil Engg. Infrastructure vast coverage


Housing & Buildings- Commercial, Residential, Public, Sports,... Transportation - Roads, Bridges, Airports, Railways, Ports & Harbours, Metros; Traffic engineering Power- Thermal, Hydro, Nuclear & Non-conventional Plants & Factories -General industrial structures; Core sector industries steel, paper, Water -Hydraulics & Hydrology, Ocean engineering Underground: Soil mechanics, Foundation engineering, Underground structures (Tunnels, Caverns) Environmental: Environmental engineering, Water & Effluent Treatment Plants Management: Construction Management, Project Management, Quality Management,...
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Construction & Ethics


An Opinion Poll indicates that various forms of unethical conducts have significant impact on construction quality Only when professional ethics are well practiced, professionalism will be enhanced and thus eliminating the quality-related problems directly. People working in the construction industry are twice as likely to sustain a major injury and five times more likely to be killed, than the average for all industries. Hence ethical conduct is key element in construction contracting
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Construction & Ethics (Contd.)

One such study analyzed the probable effect of corruption on the death tolls from earthquakes, particularly those resulting from the collapse of buildings. It says that poor building practices can turn even moderate earthquakes into major disasters. It says that 83% of all deaths from building collapses in earthquakes over the past 30 years occurred in countries perceived to have abnormally high levels of corruption!

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Some Construction Ethics breaches


Fraud in Government Contracts Defective Pricing Antitrust Violations: Collusive Bidding and Price Fixing, cartels Cost Mischarging Product Substitution Fixing the Testing process Progress Payment Fraud Bribery, Gratuities, and Conflicts of Interest Commercial Bribery and Kickbacks
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Main Stakeholders in Construction


Designer/ Architect/ Consultant

Owner/Client

Contra ctor

Sub.

Vendors

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Architects & Ethics Architects are generally rated high in Ethics In contrast with architects, however, construction contractors have a reputation for unethical behaviour The main problem being, according to a poll , the high level of disputes between owners and builders

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Architect/ Designer/ Consultant & Non-Ethics


Tweaking experience list, CVs Offering one particular candidate in the bid for the work but actually providing another Concealing of construction errors Stealing someone elses drawings/ designs Exaggerating experience and academic achievements in resumes and applications Charging clients for work not done, costs not incurred or overstated (manhour-based billing) Misleading clients in project management Involvement in conflict of interest Consultants and builder discussing client details Improper information flow, internally and externally, within a practice
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Contractor & Non-Ethics


Frequently identified as the main source of all corruption! Collusive tendering Colluding with Clients officers to make money (undue claims, overpayment, inflating quantities, passing off poor quality/ safety, etc) Rampant misdemeanors in public works Will calling him a Constructor instead of Contractor (Tekedar) help to get more respect/ responsibility?!!

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Contractor (Contd.)

Collusive Tendering: illegal agreements between tenderers that result in seemingly competitive bids price fixing (quoting high thro a cartel) schemes that circumvent spirit of free competition and defraud clients cover pricing (quoting high price to lose tender) hidden fees ( the small print) compensation for unsuccessful tenderers (for support bids) withdrawal where a tenderer withdraws his bid after consultation with other tenderers.
Bid cutting : (negotiating down S/Cs by M/Cs)
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The Client & Non-Ethics


Coercing contractors for kick-backs Turning a blind-eye to poor performance by agencies Confidentiality and propriety information infringements Using Architects drawings to complete projects with other parties Revealing tendering/ product information Not being transparent w.r.t difficult conditions ex. Cavern project Bid shopping: divulging solicited bids as leverage to encourage contractors to lower their prices; showing L1 quote to others to get lower price Reverse auction: (asking bidders to openly keep quoting against others to get the lowest price often in blind e-auction) also considered to be unethical, as it is more or less another form of bid shopping.
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LPG Storage Cavern 200m below GL

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Client (Contd.)

Procurement is often the basic cause! Selecting knowledge-based services on price basis Encouraging cut-throat competition among consultants Selecting contractors by reverse auction Changing qualification criteria arbitrarily & at last minute Harassment of honest contractors Rampant moonlighting by public organisation employees!

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Client-related lapse

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Babylons Building Code!

Hammurabis Code: If a builder has built a house for a man and has not made his work sound, and the house which he has built has fallen down and so caused the death of the house-holder, the builder should be put to death

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Some interesting Issues


Environmental breaches Negligence Deficiencies in State-of-the- Art Negligence in Engineering Negligence in Construction Whose Responsibility?

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Environmental breaches

Bad practices:

Contamination of the soil Degradation of vegetation Soil erosion Inadequate perimeter fencing on construction sites Careless execution of demolition and construction Storage of construction waste products offsite Inadequate protection for public from debris

Issues:

Did Client/ Consultant specify proper measures in tender? Did Client procure proper land for debris disposal? Is the Contractor following bad practices?
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Negligence

Negligence: failure to exercise that degree of care which, in the circumstances, the law requires for the protection of those interests of other persons which may be injuriously affected by the want of such care. The main sources are design negligence, design defect, production defect, construction defect or a combination of these factors Negligence is major cause of many accidents Is Negligence an Unethical Practice?

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Primary Causes of Engineering Disasters


The primary causes of engineering disasters are usually considered to be human factors (including both 'ethical' failure and accidents) design flaws (many of which are also the result of unethical practices) materials failures extreme conditions or environments, and, most commonly and importantly combinations of these reasons

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Primary Causes of Engineering Disasters (Contd.)


Recent study by Swiss Federal Institute of Technology: 800 cases of structural failure -- 504 people killed, 592 people injured, millions of dollars of damage.
Cause of Failure Insufficient knowledge Underestimation of influence Ignorance, carelessness, negligence Forgetfulness, error Relying upon others without sufficient control Objectively unknown situation Un-precise definition of responsibilities Choice of bad quality Other Percentage( %) 36 16 14 13 9 7 1 1 3
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State-of-the-Art not being good enough!

Sometimes the existing knowledge levels themselves are low; many intricacies had not yet been explored & understood Whose responsibility is it when something engineered as state-of-the-art fails? Ex. The Titanic to some extent!

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Tacoma Narrows Bridge, USA

Galloping Gertie
www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0Fi1VcbpAI 48

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Tacoma Narrows Bridge

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Ronan Point Flats Collapse, UK

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Ferry Bridge Cooling Towers, UK

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Negligence in construction

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Negligence in Construction!!

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Negligence during Construction

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Negligence in Engineering & Construction

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The Failure Sequence

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Amazing negligence!

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Examples

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Examples

Examples

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Negligence in Construction the Safety Aspect


Hardly any concern for safety in any field! ---- Construction, Traffic, Diwali crackers!! Preventable Accidents, if not prevented due to our negligence, are nothing short of murder - Dr S.Radhakrishnan Safety in Construction has to be Designed and is not merely wearing a helmet! Forensic Engg is now a solution to fix the root causes!

Moot Questions!!

Is there any awareness of Quality and Safety at all ??!! Does anyone care? Whose responsibility is it?

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Responsibility Dilemmas!

Who is responsible for encouraging lapses in Ethical practices Client/ Consultant/ Contractor?? (Chicken & egg analogy?!) Client: expressed/ veiled/ passive expectations, lack of competence, poor specifications Contractor: too much competition, pressure on margins, client inducements, pressure of time, difficulties in job, unexpected problems in project

Consultant: too much competition, lack of competence, pressure of time Circumstances/ national culture/ apathy??!
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Road Map

Basic Definitions Professional Ethics & other categories Engineering Ethics Ethics in Construction Survey findings Role of Personal Ethics Conclusions

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Questionnaire- 1 (USA)

31 (42%) valid responses (Avg. experience of 21 ys in field)

61%:Architects, 16%:Contractors, 16%:Project Managers, 6%: Construction Managers

90% subscribed to a professional Code of Ethics 45% had an Ethical Code of Conduct in their organisations 84% considered good ethical practice to be an important organisational goal. 93% agreed that Business Ethics should be driven or governed by Personal Ethics, 84% stated that a balance of both the requirements of the client and the impact on the public should be maintained.
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Questionnaire 1 (Contd.)

All the respondents had witnessed or experienced some degree of unethical conduct: unfair conduct (81%), negligence (67%), conflict of interest (48%), collusive tendering (44%), fraud (35%), confidentiality and propriety breach (32%), bribery (26%) violation of environmental ethics (20%).

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Questionnaire 2 (USA)

Questionnaires on ethical state of construction industry from 270 architects, engineers, construction managers, general contractors and subcontractors.

An opinion: The majority of contractors who do engage in corrupt practices tend to do so not because they want to, but because they feel they are forced to by the way the industry and the political environment operate. ..(Rationalisation!!)

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Five most Critical Ethical issues


Bid Shopping Change Orders Payment Games Unreliable Contractors Claims Games

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Bid Shopping is Unethical Reverse Auction is Unethical

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Call for More regulations, Ethics Training, Codes of Conduct

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Survey 3 - in Malaysia

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Breakdown of response by type of company.


Type of Firm Contractor Architectural Sent 275 80 Responded 40 11 Percent(%) 14.55 13.95

Developer
Quantity Surveying Total

45
100

6
7

13.33
7.00

500

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13.20

72

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Classification for frequency scale Nonethical instances


Options None Mean 0.00 Mean score < 0.75

Sometimes
Often Very often

0.75 Mean score < 1.50


1.50 Mean score < 2.25 2.25 Mean score < 3.00

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Ranking of unethical conducts by construction players


Categories of unethical conducts Under bidding, bid shopping, bid cutting Bribery, corruption Negligence Front loading, claims game Payment game Unfair and dishonest conduct, fraud Collusion Conflict of interest Change order game Cover pricing, withdrawal of tender Compensation of tendering
Rank no. 1 = Most frequent; Rank no.11 = Least frequent. 74

Mean 1.67 1.61 1.48 1.42 1.32 1.30 1.26 1.17 1.12 1.06 0.74

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

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Whether unethical conducts contribute to quality-related problem


Unethical conducts contribute to quality-related problem Strongly agree (score- 0) Somewhat agree (score- 1) Somewhat disagree (score- 2) Strongly disagree (score- 3) Frequency Percent (%) Score

27 35 3 4

40.91 53.03 4.55 1.51

0.00 35.00 6.00 3.00

Total
Mean

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100.00

110.00
0.67

Road Map

Basic Definitions Professional Ethics & other categories Engineering Ethics Ethics in Construction Survey findings Role of Personal Ethics Conclusions

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Ethics ----the Professional


A person who will not propagate incorrect information/ knowledge A person who will not steal someone elses work A person who will practice what he preaches A person who will not cheat in tenders (cartels, bribing), in quality (poor materials, poor workmanship), in claims (falsified documentation,), industrial espionage A person who will not pass off a substandard design or product or workmanship; Does not overprice services/ goods taking advantage of a situation (black marketing, hoarding, opportunity pricing) Subscribes to Engineering Registration
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Ethical working a practical guide

Check out if a set of Ethical Codes is available for ethical practices in your chosen profession as set forth by an

independent body

Follow your organization's spelt-out set of business ethics if available and if strictly followed

If neither is available, set up your own code of ethics to suit the various contexts

Developing Personal Ethics


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An Example of personal ethics Whistle blowing


Carl Houston was a welding supervisor for a nuclear power facility in Virginia (1970) for Stone & Weber He saw

Improper welding procedures Use of wrong materials Welders were not trained properly The situation was dangerous

He reported to Stone & Webers Manager, who ignored him. He threatened to write to Stone & Webers Headquarters. Shortly thereafter he was fired on trumpedup charges. Finally he wrote to Senators Howard's Baker and Albert Gore. The Senators prompted the Atomic Energy Commission to investigate, which confirmed his allegations.
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Personal Work Ethics! (recommended)


Constant quest for Perfection any less is not your best! Sincerity/ commitment is your best in what you do Search for a better solution, the Best possible! Study, Learn, Discuss, Explore, Try out alternatives till you get the best solution INNOVATE! Not compromising even if it involves more work from yourself, tirade from the top! (not to be confused with being a workaholic!) To say I dont know when in ignorance, instead of putting out a defective design/ product./ work Taking responsibility and not finding scapegoats
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Personal Ethics - CITIGROUP CENTER BUILDING


Structural Engineer Bill LeMessurier faced a big design problem when he worked on the Citicorp Centre, N.Y then the fifth highest skyscraper in New York. The 900 feet bank would rise from 9-storey (114) high columns. The columns are positioned as follows: one at the center and the other at the CENTER OF EACH SIDE OF THE TOWER and not at the CORNERS OF THE TOWERS (as is usual) This was because of a corner of the plot belonged to a church and the church had to be accommodated there. The building was completed in 1977. An engineering student questioned: what will happen when the wind loading is oblique?
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(a)

(b)

(c)

Calculations should show that in Case (c) resultant force is 40% larger.

the

While LeMessurier designed welded joints, the contractor, Bethlehem Steel changed them to bolted joints. Recalculation was not done to check what the construction change would do. Wind Tunnel Tests proved that the diagonal wind loading (with a return period of 16 years) can lead to the failure of the critical bolted joints and therefore the building.
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LeMessurier was deeply troubled. He considered his options


Silence Suicide

Then he told himself:

I have information that nobody else in the world had. I have power to effect extraordinary events that only I could initiate.

He explained the problem to his client Citicorp.


The building was strengthened by welding two-inch thick steel plates over each of the 200 bolted joints. With only welding half the number of bolts hurricane Ella was threatening to strike the building. Luckily Ellas direction changed.
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Despite the fact that nothing happened as the result of the engineering gaffe, the crisis was kept hidden from the public for almost 20 years. LeMessurier was criticized for
Insufficient

oversight leading to bolted rather than

welded joints.

For misleading the public about the extent of the danger during the reinforcement process
For keeping the engineering insights from his peers for

decades.
However his act of alerting Citicorp to the problem

inherent in his own design is now used as an example of ethical behavior in several engineering textbooks.

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Road Map

Basic Definitions Professional Ethics & other categories Engineering Ethics Ethics in Construction Survey findings Role of Personal Ethics Conclusions

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Conclusion - the IIT Way?!!


Ethics is taking the high (and possibly, lonely) ground! Construction has many potentialities for Unethical acts and a lot of care has to be exercised by all the players to avoid them. Developing a strong sense of Personal Ethics could help! IITMs GN 5001 Course on Self Awareness could help towards this! How would you like to project the IIT Brand? as having an Ethical Value? In your Workplace? In your Professional Circles? In the Society? In your Personal Life? To your own inner Self??

It is your call !!
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References

en.wikepedia.org Ethics in Engineering- M.W.Martin & R.Schinzinger, McGraw-Hill Engineering Ethics, National Institute for Engineering Ethics, USA www.ieindia.org Engineering Ethics, http://repo-nt.tcc.virginia.edu/ethics/ Engineering ethics: concepts and cases C. E. Harris, M.S. Pritchard, M.J.Rabins Vee, C. and Skitmore, R.M. (2003) Professional ethics in the construction industry. Engineering Construction and Architectural Management 10(2):pp. 117-127. Citigroup center- Wikipedia
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THANK YOU

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