Nigerian Building Professionals’ Ethical Ideology and Perceived Ethical Judgement

John Oko Ameh, Koleola Tunwase Odusami


Abstract

In recent years, Nigeria is often cited in the international media in connection with corruption and other unethical practices. The professionals in the Nigerian building industry are not immune from the national trend in ethical erosion. Moral philosophy or ethical ideology has been used to explain individuals’ reasoning about moral issues and consequent behaviour. This study examines building industry professionals’ ethical ideologies with a view to understanding their ethical behaviour in professional practice.  In carrying out this investigation, building professionals in clients’ organisations, contracting and consultancy organisations within the industry were asked to respond to the Ethics Position Questionnaire (EPQ) designed by Forsyth in order to determine their idealism and relativism level. Subsequently, they were classified into one of four groups, representing different ethical ideologies. The result indicates that the dominant ethical ideology of building industry professionals is situationism. The study predicts that the attitude of building industry professionals in practice, given the current socio-political and economic situation of Nigeria would possibly be unethical because of the extreme influence situational factors have on their behaviour. This finding is a bold step and necessary benchmark for resolving ethical issues within the industry and should be of interest to policy makers. It is also useful for intra professional ethical comparison.

Keywords

Professional, building industry, ethical ideology, ethical judgement, Nigeria

Full Text

PDF

References

Ameh, O. J. and Odusami, K. T. (2010) 'Professionals' ambivalence towards ethics in the Nigerian construction industry', Journal of Professional Issue in Engineering Education and Practice, 136(1), 9-16 http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)1052-3928(2010)136:1(9)

Barnett, T., Bass, K., and Brown, G. (1994) 'Ethical ideology and ethical judgment regarding ethical issues in business', Journal of Business Ethics, 13(6), 469-480 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00881456

Barnett, T., Bass, K., Brown, G. and Herbert, F. J. (1998) 'Ethical ideology and ethical judgement of marketing professionals', Journal of Business Ethics, 17(7), 15-723 http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1005736404300

Bass, K., Barbett, T. and Brown, G. (1999) 'Individual difference variables, ethical judgments and ethical behaviour intentions', Business Ethics Quarterly, 9(2), 183 - 205

Cavenagh, G. F., Moberg, D. J., and Valesquez, M. (1981) The ethics of organisational politics, Academy of Management Review, 6, 363-374

Davis, M. A., Johnson, N. B. and Ohmer, D. G. (1998) 'Issue contingent effects on ethical decision making: a cross cultural comparison', Journal of Business Ethics, 17, 373-389 http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1005760606745

Fernando, M., Dharinage, S. C. and Almeida, S. (2008) 'Ethical ideologies of senior Australian managers: an empirical study', Journal of Business Ethics, 82, 145-155 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-007-9568-0

Forsyth, D. R. (1980) 'A taxonomy of ethical ideologies', Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39(1), 175-184 http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.39.1.175

Forsyth, D. R. (1992) 'Judging the morality of business practices: The influence of personal moral philosophies', Journal of Business Ethics, 11(5-6), 461-470

Fritzsche, D. J. and Becker, H. (1984) 'Linking management behaviour to ethical philosophy-an empirical investigation', Academy of Management Journal, 27(1), 166-175 http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/255964

Hadjistavropoulos, T., Malloy, D. C., Sharpe, D. and Fuchs-Lacelle, S. (2003) 'The ethical ideologies of psychologists and physicians: a preliminary comparison', Ethics and Behaviour, 13(1), 97-104 http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/S15327019EB1301_11

Hartman, L. P. (1998) Perspectives in business ethics. Singapore: McGraw-Hill

Henle, C., Giacalone, R and Jurkieweiz, C. (2005) 'The role of ethical ideology in workplace deviance', Journal of Business Ethics, 56, 219-230 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-004-2779-8

Hunt, S. D. and S. Vitell (1986) 'A General Theory of Marketing Ethics', Journal of Macromarketing , 8, 5-16 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/027614678600600103

Johnson, R. N. (2003) 'An overview of ethical theory', Available [on-line] http://www.nwmissouri.edu/rfield/274, accessed 24/06/03

Lee, D. J. and Sirgy, M. J. (1999) 'The effect of ethical ideology and ethnocentrism on quality of life orientation in international marketing: a cross cultural comparison', Journal of Business Ethics, 18, 73-89 http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1006081809105

Marques, P. A. and Pereira, J. A. (2009) 'Ethical ideology and ethical judgments in the Portuguese accounting profession', Journal of Business Ethics, 86, 227-242 http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10551-008-9845-6

Monga, M. (2001) 'Ethics and ethical ideologies: an empirical study of managers in North Indian large manufacturing enterprises', Proceedings of Australian association of professional and applied ethics, Adelaide, September

Rawwas, M.Y.A and Patzer, G.L. (1995) 'Consumer ethics in cross-cultural settings entrepreneurial implications', European Journal of Marketing, 29(7), 62-78 http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/03090569510095017

Redfern, K. (2005) 'The influence of industrialisation on ethical ideology of managers in the people's republic of china', Cross Cultural Management, 12(2), 38-50 http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13527600510798006

Robb, D. J. (1996) 'Ethics in project management: issues, practice, and motives'. Second Annual Conference of the Project Management Institute, New Zealand chapter conference, Auckland, Nov. 14 - 15, 1454-1457

Schlanker, B. R. and Forsyth, D. R. (1977) 'On the ethics of psychological research', Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 13, 369-396 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0022-1031(77)90006-3

Shakantu, W. M. W. (2003) 'Corruption in the construction industry: forms, susceptibility and possible solutions', CIDB 1st Postgraduate conference, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. 274-283. Also available [on-line] www.cidb.org.za/CIDB. accessed 16th February, 2004

Singhapadi, A., Vitell, S. J. and Leelakulthanit, O. (1994) 'A cross-cultural study of ethical ideology, ethical perceptions and judgments - a comparison of American and Thai marketers', International Marketing Review, 11 (6), 66 - 78

Singhapakdi, A., Kraft, K. L., Vitell, S. J. and Rallapalli, K. C. (1995) 'The perceived importance of ethics and social responsibility on organizational effectiveness: a survey of marketers', Journal of Academy of Marketing Science, 23(1), 49-56

Singhapakdi, A., Vitell, S. J. and Franke, G. R. (1999) 'Antecedents, consequences, and mediating effects of perceived moral intensity and personal moral philosophies', Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 27(1), 19-35 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0092070399271002

Sparks, J. R. and Hunt, S. D. (1998) 'Marketing researcher ethical sensitivity: conceptualization, measurement, and exploratory investigation', Journal of Marketing 62(2), 92-109 http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1252163

Trevino, L. K. (1986) 'Ethical decision making in organizations: A person-situation interactionist model'. Academy of Management Review, 11(3), 601-617

Trevino, L. K. and Nelson, K. A. (1999) Managing business ethics-straight talk about how to do it, USA, John Wiley and Sons

Wilson, M. S. (2003) 'Social dominance and ethical ideology: The end justifies the means?' The Journal of Social Psychology, 143(5), 549-558 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00224540309598462

Zhuwakinyu, M. (2003) 'Corruption busting', Engineering news, January 24/2003. Available (on-line) www.odiusdebts.org, cited 05/08/2003

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM