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Journal of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering

Print version ISSN 1021-2019

Abstract

ABDUL-RAHMAN, H; WANG, C  and  SAIMON, M A. Clients' perspectives of professional ethics for civil engineers. J. S. Afr. Inst. Civ. Eng. [online]. 2011, vol.53, n.2, pp. 2-6. ISSN 1021-2019.

Many parties in the construction industry claim that codes of professional ethics can help mitigate the unethical conduct of civil engineers and improve the ethical level amongst construction players. However, the fact is, even though most organisations have their own codes of ethics, there still are many instances of unethical conduct in the construction industry. For this reason, this research attempted to study clients' perceptions of the impact on civil engineering works that codes of professional ethics have. Unethical conduct in the construction industry, such as fraud, bribery and collusive tendering, were addressed in 55 structured interviews. The interviews indicated the causes of the unethical conduct, as well as ways for mitigation. Finally, two models of disciplinary procedures to deal with unethical conduct were developed for the construction industry, particularly for civil engineers. One model is for nonserious unethical conduct such as "being late for work", "punching card on behalf of a friend", and "disappointing work performance", while the other model is for serious unethical conduct such as "fraud", "dishonesty", and "collusion with the other party".

Keywords : professional ethics; code of ethics; clients'perceptions; disciplinary procedures; unethical conduct.

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