Despite the fact that all professional associations, including ASCE, CMAA, PMI, AACE, and NSPE have codes of ethical conduct, the majority of the stakeholders in the construction process have encountered unethical behavior at one time or another. This is a contentious issue because there is always disagreement about what is and is not ethical. This paper looks into two practices that are most common in construction contracting, namely unbalanced bidding, and pre-award bid shopping. Both practices are considered to be totally acceptable by some, and totally unethical by others. Both practices can be stopped if preventive measures are put in place. The nature of these behaviors is examined, their impact is assessed, and preventive measures are formulated. In addition, in rare instances, illegal practices come to light. Collusive behavior is one such practice that is difficult but not impossible to detect. The nature of bid rigging is examined, its impact is assessed, and recommendations are made to detect parties that are involved in collusive practices. In addition to professional associations’ efforts to publish standards for ethical conduct, the construction industry needs to be proactive in creating awareness about ethics issues, clear the confusion about what is ethical and what is not, and in promote ethical values throughout the entire spectrum of professions involved in construction.
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