Illegal and Unethical Conduct by Stakeholders in the Context of Construction and Civil Infrastructure Projects
A countless number of projects are being undertaken across the globe at any time in the crucial field of construction and civil infrastructure development. Over many decades, and even centuries, these projects collectively have both profoundly influenced as well as immensely improved the quality of all our lives. At the same time many of these schemes were plagued by controversies before, during and sometimes even long after their completion. One major source of controversy revolves around illegal or unethical actions and conduct of their stakeholders. These take place at the expense of projects and conflict with the legitimate interests and concerns of other stakeholders. From false promises and assurances, to cases of fraud, nepotism and corruption, to violent incidents of intimidation such actions and conduct span a broad spectrum which, although widely known and often reported about, appears to have attracted little if any systematic analysis in the project management research community.
Based on an extensive study of literature available in the public domain and interviews with project practitioners, and their own knowledge and experience, the authors discuss in this paper with the help of several examples some of the more commonly encountered illegal and unethical actions and conduct by stakeholders which in practice have historically overshadowed and today still continue to cast a deep shadow on projects in the construction and civil infrastructure development category. The authors also present their ideas and practical suggestions as to how such problems can and should be addressed by project executives. The authors firmly believe that by systematically attempting to prevent legal and ethical transgressions from occurring and effectively and promptly addressing them if and when they do occur, projects are more likely to succeed than otherwise and can move closer towards achieving a win-win solution which can immensely benefit both them as well as their stakeholders.
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