Ethics in Project Management

Decisions and Dilemmas

Project management is driven by decisions, often dozens or more per day. Some decisions are small and barely noticed while others are prominent. Some require deep thought because they involve people, resources and the environment. And sometimes these factors are in conflict, creating a dilemma and perhaps significant risks. While project managers normally know what to do, how to do it can become a puzzle — especially when stakeholder interests conflict. Like all leaders, project managers build trust by the way they make decisions. Here again, the “how to do it” can be puzzling yet is instrumentally important.

Ethics is the discipline of “how to do it best”. To guide behavior and help with tough decisions, we've crafted a Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and an Ethical Decision-Making Framework. To deepen your knowledge and perspective, we provide numerous articles, papers and webinars.

When unethical behaviors arise, take action. Use our ethics complaint and review process and see the specialized resources available.

Impact of Ethical Decisions

Gretta Kelzi

A project leader is invited to be ready for the challenges of realizing a sustainable professional future. This can be achieved through meeting the standards set for at the individual level, and always benchmark decisions to be taken to those standards. Compassion, Ethics and Hard Work are the foundation and the essence that will fuel the project manager's journey toward achieving their role.

PMI Ethics Insight Team


Deepa Bhide

Ethical principles can be looked at as a lighthouse in the tumultuous ocean, guiding the navigator towards success in their endeavor. Embedded in the project fabric that leads to fair and unbiased project decisions, Ethics is the DNA of project management.

PMI Ethics Insight Team


Public Announcement

The ERC recently found three people in violation of the Code and ordered a public reprimand.

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Have an ethics question?

Contact the Ethics Insight Team with questions, concerns or ideas. Email to [email protected].