Work Ethics in Project Management

Topics: Work Ethic

Work Ethics as a Soft Skill The code of ethics is rather simple. It is to possess and maintain characteristics like honesty, equitability, responsibility, respect, and morality. In the current times, most of the companies be it a small-scale startup or a business tycoon have focused and shed light on maintaining a sincere approach in taking care to keep the work ethics within good margin.

Every organization wants to propel an ethical atmosphere by applying a certain code of conduct and also relying on the individual to abide by his own terms of morality.

“Since it is the individual employee’s personal code of ethics that influences his or her ethical behavior, the proper unit of analysis when investigating ethics should be the individual (Al-Khatib et al., 2004).”

There is a line between one’s own moral ethics and that of a company. An organization might impose their principles upto a certain extent but then it comes down to a person to abide by it.

This might again be different from ethics in personal life, student life compared to work life. As per the study (Glenn and Van Loo, 1993; Lawson, 2004) Business students usually deny cheating or any act to support it with a proper understanding regarding the ethics of business.

However, despite of the fact of agreeing to not follow it, they tend to end up being quintessentially less faithful. Let’s talk a look at work ethic from a different perspective. An individual’s life constitutes of several phases, with work covering up major portion of it.

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An average human spends and dedicates over thirteen years of his/her life towards work. Similar to eating, sleeping and doing any other activities, work holds a big portion among it.

However, this changed over a couple of hundred years. With the progression in time from the medieval age to the current era, a person’s dedication towards work which was once despised got more respect and earned a better credit in one’s eyes. There was an evolutionary revolution in the system of work as it is with every other thing. With the evolution of man, natural occurrences changing the geography and conditions of the world, the period of war & reign followed by more social development. With the current time and pressure one needs to build public relations while maintaining ethics which can be challenging. The flow of an ethical presence should flow from the top of the table. It is primarily important for the leader to set and example. While thriving in a project a leader should always be both pessimist and an optimist. This means it is very important to be conventional and reactionary and keeping into mind the deadline of a project.

On the contrary, a PMO should also give liberty and keep everyone working in the project and look at them with equality and equanimity. Over the top there is also a third quality which is about representing factual data. This is where a person can choose to be transparent or hide things. A partial way to hide a truth would be to not give it out until being asked for. This is where being ethical counts, by giving out a certain number, if an estimate or approximate figure then that.

And the last thing to correctly be ethical is to see the limits of the group within sight and not neglect it. With a wrong perception of neglecting something and supposing it to solve by itself would be an internally wrong step against one’s organization. So, one needs to keep in mind to abide by al ethical laws that they pledge for and comply with it. (Max Weber) In order to emphasize the importance of work ethic on attitudes towards work, here is an example of a graph which states how Buletin Stiintific. 2018, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p112-117. 6p. 2 Charts, 1 Graph. With the advancement of time and workload, there follows an imprinting of an individual’s state of mind of the work as a whole.

The reason why this needs to be understood and taken into consideration is because, the tasks are carried out by human beings. Everything comes in a package and with every different individual follows their aspects, traits and emotions. Furthermore, emotions can be described as sentiments, feelings or perceiving of a subject as per their persona and experience in a certain manner. Corresponding to the work of Nussbaum (2004), emotions can be distinguishing and can have a percepting component.

In other words, an individual’s frustration or disappointment can result into some emotional turbulence but those feelings cannot be solely eliminated by taking the frustration out. This might mentally pose a challenge and lead the person to making a decision which might not be desired, which is why it is very important to see that the emotions doesn’t exhibit themselves and hurt the morality. Although research findings suggest that emotions influence moral decision- making, these findings do not unambiguously show when or how emotions come into play when people render a judgement or make a decision (Huebner et al., 2009).

There are always ways when people turn out and turn everything against them in their favor. That is what a smart person can do here. In line with the studies of Mole Wijk, Kleinlugtenbelt and Widdershoven (2011), every individual should, at the beginning of any discussion, express their feelings and emotions. It can be elaborating what they are going through, their substantial effects on themselves and how it might affect the work environment. This is where the heat of being introvert is pushed out by applying extrovert personality. Is is necessary and important to notice the emotional which might be in the way of making decision ethical. (Molewijk, Kleinlugtenbelt and Widdershoven, 2011) have described an Aristotelian conversation method which helps one confront their emotional state of mind.

This includes five steps and it helps individuals in elaborating what is it to be a proficient professional in their field and to open up about the perceptions, judgements & anything like halo-effect. I feel, this is very efficient in helping one manage emotions and vent it out while not supressicing it, in turn affect their moral and ethical decisions. Let us now examine a chart which describes the ethical work among students from the military. As described above, work has been categorized as is subject to be relative.

In search engine company, a worker might have the freedom and independence as a part of his moral code and might apply to the ethics for that particualar field of interest. However, this varies. The graph below shows that hard work stands first, followed by non leisure, asceticism followed by independence at the end. Thus, the work ethic is very contextual. “Our society would have fewer problems if people had less leisure time” (Townsend & Thompson, 2014).

This might not intend to mean, in any way that a person should not relish, but rather focuses on having a proper percentage of time one allots to subjective matter in their own field of work. The whole topic of work ethic is thus very realtive and might differ in the case of a white-collar job office environment, to something that is at a live construction site versus a set up for students and might be totally unalike with those in the arm.


  1. Al-Khatib, J. A., M. Y. A. Rawwas, and S. J. Vitell. 2004.
    “Organizational Ethics in Developing Countries: A Comparative Analysis.” Journal of Business Ethics 55: 309-322.
  2. Banks, S. (2012)
    ‘Negotiating personal engagement and professional accountability: Pro- fessional wisdom and ethics work’, European Journal of Social Work Advance Access published October 25, 2012, 10.1080/13691457.2012.732931.
  3. Huebner, B., Dwyer, S. and Hauser, M. (2009)
    ‘The role of emotion in moral psychology’, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 13(1), pp. 1 – 6.
  4. Molewijk, B., Kleinlugtenbelt, D. and Widdershoven, G. (2011)
    ‘The role of emotions in moral case deliberation: Theory, practice and methodology’, Bioethics, 25(7), pp. 383–93.
  5. Townsend, S. S. M., & Thompson, L. (2013).
    Implications of the Protestant work ethic for cooperative and mixed-motive teams. Organizational Psychology Review, 4(1), 4-26.

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Work Ethics in Project Management. (2021, Dec 25). Retrieved from

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