After one year in the making, this week the book I wrote together with Dr. Alicia Medina is finally available in Amazon.com
We studied the corporate and project stands on ethics and governance, which allowed us to introduce an innovative approach.
This book emphasizes the existence of separated sets of ethical values adjusted to different circumstances, which along with personal interests, allegiances, and opportunity, comprise the ethical cube.
Then, the ethical and governance mechanisms are explained by the introduction of the “Small Sins Allowed” and the “Line of Impunity”.
Please, if you like the topic get your copy and read it. Then if you like our approach patronize the book among your acquaintances.
You can find it in Amazon.com using the following link:
Despite all the attention devoted to governance over recent decades, project failures continue to shake the field, suggesting that further investigation is necessary. The recurrence of project governance difficulties made us question the basics of what had hitherto been taken to be unquestionable knowledge. As a result of the underlying cognitive unrest, a revision of the approaches to ethics in the project world led to the introduction of new concepts such as Small Sins Allowed, the Line of Impunity, and the Ethics Cube.
With this book we aim to provide business students and project practitioners (managers, team members, and other project stakeholders) with an understating of the relationship between ethics and project governance, along with the influence exerted by the context.
In order to enrich students’ experience, we have included case studies with questions and reflective exercises. All the cases come from our real-life project experiences or have been collected during focus groups and workshops in the United States, Latin America, and Sweden.
Our stance is that a dissonance between business and society ethics may lead to improper behavior, which, together with outdated governance practices, may result in project failure. The ethical components of project management need to be understood and the common sources of deviance identified in order to apply new approaches to project governance that may lead to successful projects. We start with a historical perspective of the evolution of ethics, oriented particularly toward the fundamentals of ethics that govern individual and collective behaviors within the project world. Then, aspects of the ethical approaches and contrasting views are presented and discussed. This is followed by an exploration into the fields of decision-making models, economization, double standards, honesty, and codes of ethics. Aspects of the context, such as perception, motivation, and culture, are also discussed before analyzing corporate and project governance.
At this point, the book introduces two important new concepts, the Small Sins Allowed and the Line of Impunity, which together can be the foundation for a renewed view of project governance. The Small Sins Allowed establish a level above which adherence to ethical standards is expected. The Line of Impunity relates to the perception that privileges are entitled at certain positions. Then, ethical issues and ethical dilemmas are reviewed and an “ethical hierarchy” model is introduced to explain how ethical issues should be addressed according to their moral intensity.
Later, an “Ethics Cube” is depicted to illustrate the existence of different sets of ethical values such as professional ethics, family ethics, and general ethics. It also illustrates the conflicting relationship between those sets of ethical values and personal interests, allegiances, and the presence of opportunity. This concept is expected to generate awareness about the complexity of managing multiple sets of ethical values together with other compelling factors. Shuffling the cube may result in a professional ethics affected by selfishness, idealism, pragmatism, and even by other ethical sets.
The book concludes by answering the question of how we can improve governance in projects, and presenting some guidelines for ethical leadership.
We would like to stress our disagreement with the prevalent dominant view that ethics can be steered solely by governance. We believe that ethics in project management goes beyond rules and regulations, and that people’s actions have an impact on governance. We call for a paradigm shift, a new mindset under- standing that professional ethics conflicts with personal factors, where rules and principles are applied selectively, and where the impact of culture and context are incorporated into the daily life of projects.