Ethics in Project Management

The hallmark of a well-functioning society is the ethical behavior of its members. Ethics is the cornerstone of growth. Lack of ethics leads to increased oversight and decreased trust which diverts productive resources towards implementing additional controls. Therefore, the Project Management Institute (PMI) has dedicated a section on its website to the subject of ethics (Links to an external site.). PMI’s website offers multiple articles on ethics.

The PMI has developed a code of ethics for project managers to adhere to (Links to an external site.) [PDF, file size 4.12 MB]. This code presents the ethical standards under four values – Responsibility, Respect, Fairness and Honesty. The course textbook shares some of these standards on Page 23.

To facilitate ethical behavior, PMI has developed an ethical decision-making framework (EDMF) (Links to an external site.) [PDF, file size 442 KB]. Following the five steps in this framework will make it easier for project managers to decide on the most ethical choice. An article, “The Leader’s Choice – Five to Ethical Decision Making (Links to an external site.),”, explains this framework in detail.

In the first four modules of this course, you were introduced to project management and you have learned about initiating and planning projects. This midterm test will evaluate your ability to apply the ethical standards in initiating and planning projects.

Write an essay explaining the consideration of the PMI ethical standards during the project initiation or planning processes. Include an example of an ethical dilemma in the project initiation or planning processes. To obtain this example, you may search the internet for ethical dilemmas in project management or you can choose one from your experience or create one with your imagination. Then, apply the EDMF to arrive at an ethically appropriate decision for this dilemma.


  1. A Turnitin similarity index of 20% or higher for your work (excluding references) will result in a redo and resubmit decision, with a grade penalty applied.