Professionals’ Ambivalence toward Ethics in the Nigerian Construction Industry

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Ameh, John , O.
Odusami, Koleola, T.
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ASCE Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
Following the growing consensus within and outside the Nigerian construction industry that corruption and other unethical practices are endemic in the industry, coupled with scarce empirical study on professional ethics in the industry, there is a need to examine the perceptions of the professionals regarding ethical issues. This study therefore assesses the perceptions of construction professionals regarding ethical issues in the Nigerian construction industry. One hundred and ninety two professionals were sampled from 108 construction organizations comprising 55 consultancy organizations, 35 contracting organizations, and 18 client organizations in selected Nigerian major cities. A survey research design was employed. Descriptive statistics were used in analyzing the data. The results indicate that there is a decline in unethical practices within the industry compared to the pre-1999 era. The more common form of bribery is financial. Quantity surveyors were perceived as the most susceptible to bribery among the professionals in the industry. The builder/construction manager faces the greatest pressure to act unethically among the professionals in the construction industry. The study recommends that professional institutions should give more priority consideration to ethical discourse at technical sessions, public lectures, and seminars. Furthermore, project financiers should ensure adequate and prompt remuneration for professional services. Since the quantity surveyors are perceived as the most susceptible to bribery, clients should ensure that their discretionary powers in the procurement of building projects are limited or subjected to third party verification. Finally, additional research is needed to explore the types of measures that might help curb professionals’ unethical practices in Nigeria.
Construction industry, ethics, Nigeria, professional personnel, professional practice, professional service
Ameh, O. J. & Odusami, K. T. (2010a). Professionals’ ambivalence towards ethics in the Nigerian building industry. ASCE Journal of Professional issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 136(1), 9-16