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Evaluation of ethical codes implementation – a fuzzy approach

Christabel M.F. Ho (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong , Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Olugbenga Timo Oladinrin (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong , Kowloon, Hong Kong)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 3 October 2016




Setting measurable criteria for implementing ethical codes is a pivotal issue in construction organizations. This paper aims to present an approach for evaluating ethical codes implementation within an organization based on 30 indicators for effective implementation of codes of ethics, with the objective of enhancing employees’ ethical behaviour within the organization.


This study builds on a theoretical model that was developed using existing classification in the literature, including six processes of ethical codes implementation (process of: identification and removal of barriers, coding, internalization, enacting values, monitoring and accountability). The model was validated by applying partial least square structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) estimation approach on questionnaire survey data which were collected from construction practitioners in Hong Kong. Fuzzy synthetic evaluation (FSE) analysis was adopted to assess the level of ethical code implementation.


The results of the PLS-SEM indicate a good model fit, and the model has a substantial predictive power and satisfactory model representation. Thus, the model is suitable for measuring or evaluating codes of ethics implementation within organization. The process of “enacting value” has the greatest influence on “ethical code implementation”. The results of FSE indicate that the overall level of implementation of ethical codes is high, but there are rooms for further improvement.

Research limitations/implications

The response to the self-assessment questionnaire used for measuring the extent of implementation is relatively low, but it was adequate for statistical analyses considering the fact that it represents the second stage of data collection in a longitudinal manner, and only the respondents who participated in the initial questionnaire survey were asked to participate. The essence of doing this is to test the model for the purpose of self-evaluation of construction organizations regarding codes implementation. Thus, the outcomes are not representative enough for the entire construction organizations in Hong Kong. However, the model was tested to demonstrate how to reflect the strengths and weaknesses of construction companies in Hong Kong with respects to ethical code implementation to identify areas requiring improvement.

Practical implications

Facilities managers can benefit from the findings of this study by applying the model to assess ethical codes implementation within the organization to enhance ethical behaviour.


The main contribution of this study is the generation of a framework for measuring the extent of implementation of ethical codes within construction organizations. The contribution from this study can add significant value to facilities management discipline as well, being a business-oriented sector. As ethical behaviour plays an important role in delivering various facilities. The approach used in this study is useful for facilities managers in the process of implementing codes of ethics.



The work described in this paper was supported by the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (PolyU K-QZ14).


Ho, C.M.F. and Oladinrin, O.T. (2016), "Evaluation of ethical codes implementation – a fuzzy approach", Facilities, Vol. 34 No. 13/14, pp. 924-955.



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