A Moral (Normative) Framework for the Judgment of Actions and Decisions in the Construction Industry and Engineering: Part II

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The construction industry is typically characterized as a fragmented, multi-organizational setting in which members from different technical backgrounds and moral values join together to develop a particular business or project. The most challenging obstacle in the construction process is to achieve a successful practice and to identify and apply an ethical framework to manage the behavior of involved specialists and contractors and to ensure the quality of all completed construction activities. The framework should reflect a common moral ground for myriad people involved in this process to survive and compete ethically in today’s turbulent construction market. This study establishes a framework for moral judgment of behavior and actions conducted in the construction process. The moral framework provides the basis of judging actions as “moral” or “immoral” based on three levels of moral accountability: personal, professional, and social. The social aspect of the proposed framework is developed primarily from the essential attributes of normative business decision-making models identified in the literature review and subsequently incorporates additional attributes related to professional and personal moral values. The normative decision-making models reviewed are based primarily on social attributes as related to moral theories (e.g., utilitarianism, duty, rights, virtue, etc.). The professional and moral attributes are established by identifying a set of common moral values recognized by professionals in the construction industry and required to prevent common construction breaches. The moral framework presented here is the complementary part of the ethical framework developed in Part I of this article and is based primarily on the personal behavior or the moral aspect of professional responsibility. The framework can be implemented as a form of preventive personal ethics, which would help avoid ethical dilemmas and moral implications in the first place. Furthermore, the moral framework can be considered as a decision-making model to guide actions and improve the moral reasoning process, which would help individuals think through possible implications and the consequences of ethical and moral issues in the construction industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1617-1641
Number of pages25
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Decision-making model
  • Judgment framework in construction
  • Moral and immoral judgment
  • Moral judgment framework
  • Normative framework
  • Universal moral values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health Policy
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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