Date of Conferral







Anthony Lolas


Despite the existence of ethical codes, ethical lapses continue to occur frequently in the construction industry. Ethical violations can have negative effects on society. The specific research problem was that many executive managers in construction companies may not understand what ethical strategies to implement to align practical ethical conduct in the construction industry with existing codes of ethics. The purpose of this qualitative, exploratory case study was to explore the perceptions of construction industry professionals on how to achieve alignment between industry ethical conduct and published codes of conduct. A conceptual framework based on Bandura’s concept of reciprocal determinism was used for this study. Social change concepts, personal and social ethics, and aspects of the construction industry ethical environment were reviewed to support the conceptual framework. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposeful sample of 19 project managers and superintendents from 13 construction companies in the Northeast United States in various trades who were subject to codes of ethics. The data were analyzed using Yin’s pattern matching and were coded manually and with NVivo. In the results, study participants shared several strategies to improve the construction industry ethical environment. These strategies included improving frequent communication of industry codes of conduct, training in expectations and procedures, stressing ways to improve corporate ethical culture, developing a sense of self-ethical behavior, and the importance of leadership in modeling ethical behavior. The social change implications of this research include the potential for reduced project duration and cost, improved stakeholder trust, and improved quality of construction.