An Ethical (Descriptive) Framework for Judgment of Actions and Decisions in the Construction Industry and Engineering–Part I

Omar J. Alkhatib, Alaa Eldin Hussein Abdou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The construction industry is usually characterized as a fragmented system of multiple-organizational entities in which members from different technical backgrounds and moral values join together to develop a particular business or project. The greatest challenge in the construction process for the achievement of a successful practice is the development of an outstanding reputation, which is built on identifying and applying an ethical framework. This framework should reflect a common ethical 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 ethical judgment of behavior and actions conducted in the construction process. The framework was primarily developed based on the essential attributes of business management identified in the literature review and subsequently incorporates additional attributes identified to prevent breaches in the construction industry and common ethical values related to professional engineering. The proposed judgment framework is based primarily on the ethical dimension of professional responsibility. The Ethical Judgment Framework consists of descriptive approaches involving technical, professional, administrative, and miscellaneous terms. The framework provides the basis for judging actions as either ethical or unethical. Furthermore, the framework can be implemented as a form of preventive ethics, which would help avoid ethical dilemmas and moral allegations. The framework can be considered a decision-making model to guide actions and improve the ethical reasoning process that would help individuals think through possible implications and consequences of ethical dilemmas in the construction industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-606
Number of pages22
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Decision making
  • Descriptive framework
  • Ethical and unethical judgment
  • Ethical judgment framework
  • Judgment framework in construction
  • Universal ethical values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'An Ethical (Descriptive) Framework for Judgment of Actions and Decisions in the Construction Industry and Engineering–Part I'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this