Ethics in Project Management Coursework Sample

Posted on October 13, 2023

Paper Instructions

Academic level – Undergraduate 3-4
Type of paper – Coursework
Topic Title – Ethics in Project Management (PMI)

Write an essay explaining the consideration of the PMI ethical standards during the project initiation or planning processes.

Include an example of an ethical dilemma in the project initiation or planning processes.

Coursework Sample

 In project management, successful outcomes hinge on effective initiation and planning. Ethical considerations are paramount during these pivotal stages, providing the bedrock upon which projects thrive. Guiding this process is the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, a compass for operating fairly, honestly, and responsibly. The emphasis on ethics during planning and initiation fosters transparency and trust among stakeholders, which is crucial for bolstering project success. Thus, the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct becomes essential for instilling cooperation and trust at the inception of a project’s lifecycle.

The project has numerous stages, while initiation and planning are the core of its success. Ethical considerations must be greatly emphasized during these stages to lay a solid foundation for the project. PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct dictates to managers how to operate fairly, honestly, and responsibly, fostering positive social and professional impact. According to Larsson and Larsson (2020), paying particular attention to this aspect during planning and initiation promotes trust and transparency among the stakeholders, thus increasing the project’s success. All involved parties must be aware of the goals and values of the project (during the planning stage) and stay informed about its development (during the initiation stage) to promptly and collectively react to emerging difficulties. Hence, the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct is paramount during project initiation and planning to establish cooperation and trust at the beginning of its lifecycle. 

Some time ago, a technological company recently released a new product that received highly positive feedback as well as suggestions for improvement and new features. The market analysis and customer survey revealed that sales will break all records if the company releases a new product version with additional features. However, the company’s top developer M. has recently experienced a long string of unfortunate events in her personal life, and she still does not recover from the previous release. M. is the most experienced developer in the company, and her involvement will guarantee the project’s success. Consequently, the project manager faces an ethical dilemma if they want to engage M. in the project to keep the momentum and achieve success, wait for her to recover, or attract another specialist. This dilemma requires careful consideration of organizational goals and their immediate success, employee well-being, and long-term development. 

The Ethical Decision-Making Framework (EDMF) offers a structured approach to addressing this ethical dilemma. Firstly, the project manager should assess the relevant facts, including positive market feedback, potential sales growth, and M.’s personal struggles. Secondly, identify stakeholders’ interests, acknowledging the company’s financial success, M.’s well-being, and the overall team’s dynamics (Denney & Merritt, 2020). Next, evaluate options: a) engaging M. immediately, risking her well-being, b) waiting for her recovery, potentially missing out on market opportunities, or c) seeking an alternative specialist, which might compromise the project’s success. In considering ethical principles, prioritizing employee well-being aligns with the duty of care and respect, while balancing this with the company’s financial interests aligns with utilitarianism (Stahl et al., 2020). Ultimately, the best course might involve temporarily redistributing M.’s workload while supporting her, allowing her time to recover, and collaborating with the team to compensate for her absence. This choice respects both individual well-being and organizational success, demonstrating a commitment to holistic ethical decision-making.

The ethical dilemma faced by the project manager illustrates the importance of applying the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct during project initiation and planning. The project manager can systematically analyze the situation, weigh the pros and cons of different options, and choose the most ethical course of action. EDMF respects the individual rights and interests of M. and considers the organizational goals and stakeholder expectations. Therefore, the EDMF is a valuable tool for resolving project initiation and planning ethical dilemmas.


Denney, V., & Merritt, D. M. (2020). Improving ethical decision making through the lens of graduate project management students. The Journal of Modern Project Management, 8(2).

Larsson, J., & Larsson, L. (2020). Integration, application and importance of collaboration in sustainable project management. Sustainability, 12(2), 585.

Stahl, G. K., Brewster, C., Collings, D. G., & Hajro, A. (2020). Enhancing the role of human resource management in corporate sustainability and social responsibility: A multi-stakeholder, multidimensional approach to HRM. Human Resource Management Review, 30(3), 100708.

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