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Ethical Predisposition of Project Managers in the Delivery of Construction Projects in the NHS

Ethical Predisposition of Project Managers in the Delivery of Construction Projects in the NHS

Whelan, Elizabeth and Robinson, Herbert (2018) Ethical Predisposition of Project Managers in the Delivery of Construction Projects in the NHS. In: International Conference on Professionalism and Ethics in Construction. London South Bank University, London, pp. 276-285. ISBN 978-0-9560514-2-4

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Abstract

The National Health Service (NHS) is a major client of the construction industry with cost of the healthcare estate estimated to be over £8 billion and capital investment of £2 billion in 2015/16. The aim is to investigate if project team members are ethically predisposed to make decisions based on rules or outcome and to examine its relationship with governance and project outcome. A two-stage approach was used based on survey and interviews with senior project managers. Out of 51 participants, formalism predominated regardless of age or gender with 45 formalists (‘rules followers’), and 4 utilitarians (‘outcome driven’ or ‘ends focused’). The NHS culture is rules and protocol-driven for patient safety and for its duty of accountability to the tax payer. Project governance was more effective as the corporate governance layer did not have sufficient knowledge about construction projects, risk mitigation, and are often perceived to be uninterested in project details. The findings suggest that NHS projects are managed by people with high ethical standards and the governance process whilst acknowledged to be important was sometimes perceived to be ineffective due to difficulties at the interface between corporate and project governance which needs to be addressed for project ‘success’.

Keywords: ethical predisposition, governance structure, NHS, project outcome.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: International Conference on Professionalism and Ethics in Construction
Uncontrolled Keywords: ethical predisposition, governance structure, nhs, project outcome
Subjects: T Technology > TH Building construction
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > Sustainable Built Environment Research Group (SBERG)
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Design (DSC)
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2020 22:51
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/22276

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