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Title: Construction ethics management : a comparative study of practice in the UK and Korea
Authors: Kang, Byung-Gyoo
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: © Byung-Gyoo Kang
Abstract: Ethics training and ethical decision making are the principal areas in ethics management. The importance of ethics management in business and society in the 21 st century is well recognized. The construction industry also needs to practice its own ethics management to incorporate the project based nature of the industry and the various stakeholders of the project. Furthermore, many of today's large construction projects tend to be executed by multi-cultural stakeholders. This research aims to provide a basis of ethics training and ethical decision making for domestic and multicultural construction environments, investigating the differences in ethics and culture , between UK construction and Korea construction. A conceptual linkage between business ethics and construction ethics has been established, leading to the development of a stakeholder model, a moral development model and the concept of code of ethics for construction. In addition, the relationships between cultural dimensions and ethical implications have been reviewed and identified to cope with multi-cultural environments. Based on the findings and developments of the literature review, the framework of ethics training for construction has been developed, comprising both ethical components and cultural components. This framework enhances the ethicalness of decision makers and is linked to the framework of ethical decision making for construction. The framework of ethical decision making comprises three levels and evaluation items, based on the stakeholder model, the moral development model and Agent (virtue ethics) -Action (deontology) - Results (consequentialism) concept. The three levels and evaluation items are individual level (moral development), project level (code of ethics) and corporation level (corporate reputation). The validity of the framework of ethics training has been tested through questionnaire surveys on ethical issues and cultural dimensions among UK contractors, UK designers, Korea contractors and Korea designers. The UK and Korea have been selected as a representative case of the comparative study ill construction between Western Europe and Eastern Asia. The findings of the surveys showed high influence of nationality and low influence of the profession on ethical perceptions and cultural dimensions; and low influence of the demographic factors on ethical perceptions. In addition, interviews with the construction engineers having wide experiences in the UK and Korea have identified the causal relationships between cultural differences and ethical differences. This causality has been confirmed through the interviews with ethicians. The findings of the surveys support the culture-based ethics training for construction. The validity of the framework of ethical decision making has been tested and proved through a questionnaire survey in the UK and confirmed through the interviews with the ethicians, indicating a positive improvement in the ethical decisions. The synthesis of ethical issues and cultural dimensions has led to new knowledge on the causality between cultural differences and ethical differences, with examples between UK construction and Korea construction. The findings identify the need of cultural interpretation and the significant role of nationality, and justify the framework of culture-based ethics training for multicultural construction environments. The systematic framework of ethical decision making has helped the decision makers to produce ethically improved decisions in an ethical dilemma. The findings and the two frameworks in this research have made significant contribution to the areas of ethics management in construction. This has been achieved by providing a theoretical and empirical basis on how professionals can incorporate ethics in their everyday decision making.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/12926
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Civil and Building Engineering)

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