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Ethical views of micro‐enterprises delivering project and asset management services in west‐central Scotland

James Sommerville (School of the Built & Natural Environment, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)

Built Environment Project and Asset Management

ISSN: 2044-124X

Article publication date: 8 July 2011




There is little in the way of research on ethical views on the project and asset management sides of the construction industry, and an absence of work on micro‐enterprises. This paper seeks to build material in this area aimed at establishing micro‐enterprise views on ethical issues.


Micro‐enterprises, operating in west‐central Scotland, engaged in a series of questionnaires and case studies. The questionnaires, issued to 300 businesses, sought views on four main thrusts within the ethics arena and responses received were expanded through case studies on three businesses.


The research findings indicate that a range of ethical considerations are important to micro‐construction enterprises. However, no one single ethical viewpoint was found to be dominant and variation was evident in management attitudes based on age, experience and education. The wider business community may take heart from the view that the micro‐enterprises were law abiding, and so reinforce in the publics' view that they are sound businesses to deal with.

Research limitations/implications

The research was limited to a single geographic region, within one country: expansion to cover the full country and at the same time replication in other countries would provide a broader and more wide ranging view of the underlying stance on ethical issues.


This paper is the first that specifically targets micro‐enterprises in the project and asset management spheres and sets out findings that are useful to practitioners and researchers who are trying to evaluate the underlying premise by which micro‐enterprises operate.



Sommerville, J. (2011), "Ethical views of micro‐enterprises delivering project and asset management services in west‐central Scotland", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 91-103.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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