Project Management

Ethics Bistro

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We all tackle ethical dilemmas. Wrong decisions can break careers. Which are the key challenges faced? What are some likely solutions? Where can we find effective tools? Who can apply these and why? Dry, theoretical discussions don't help. Join us for lively, light conversations to learn, share and grow!

About this Blog


View Posts By:

Kimberly Whitby
Simona Bonghez
Karthik Ramamurthy
Alankar Karpe
Fabio Rigamonti
Mohamed Hassan
Valerie Denney
John Watson
Deepa Bhide
Amany Nuseibeh
Enrique Cappella
Gretta Kelzi
Albert Agbemenu

Past Contributors:

Lily Murariu

Recent Posts

The A, B, Cā€™s of Ethics

The Traps of a Conflict of Interest

Is there something called an ethical protest?

Avoiding the Alligators While Navigating Uncharted Territory

Ethics as a competence of the Portfolio Program Project Manager: a personal journey.

Viewing Posts by Alankar Karpe

Is there something called an ethical protest?

Categories: volunteers

I have witnessed several protests in my city and around the world lately. These protests were against the action taken or not taken, perceived bias by the government, organizations etc.

Residents from my locality took part in these protests. When I spoke to them as why they were protesting against the government while they are not directly affected by the proposed law changes, they said that they are doing it for the betterment of the society as a whole.

And after few days, I read in the news that protesters burned public transport buses, chocked the traffic on the road and caused delays for several hours impacting commuters and causing inconvenience to the same society they want to make better by protesting!

One of the arguments given to me is that protest is their human right given by the constitution - the same constitution that explains the citizens’ roles and responsibilities. How convenient it is for these citizens to choose one side of the constitution while choosing to ignore another!

And then there is a section of general public who are not part of these protests, but they suffer greatly even when there were not faulty. For example, Hong Kong airport was shut down during the protests; there were significant property loss in India due to protest against an amendment in the existing law. 

In my view, protesters must ask themselves some questions, no matter what they are protesting for, before they bring traffic to a standstill for several hours, take over roads and buildings and cause huge trouble to the general public who has little or nothing to do with the cause of the protest.

  • If this protest is absolutely necessary and justified, considering the trouble it will cause?
  • Will the protest remain under control, not being taken advantage of, or diverted by criminal elements?  
  • Are the means of the protest, appropriate to the overall objective of the reason of protesting?
  • Are you and your group prepared to take full responsibility of the consequences of the protest?
  • How innocents and general public will be affected by these actions?

A protester cannot be ethical and justify him/herself if he/she acts only in his/her own interest causing huge inconvenience to the public, loss of property and resources.

I wonder how the protest will look if we respect each other? In that case, there will not be any bad words, slogans raised; there will not be any action causing inconvenience to the public and there will be a genuine attempt to understand the concern from both sides rather than just making the rules to be followed.

Was it a fair cause? And if yes, while a protest is exercising a democratic human right, what is the starting point for a protest to change into the wrong direction?

Question remains: Will there be any protests if we, every one of us aiming to have policies and laws, ensure that these laws are fair, treating people equally and respecting the individuals?

In the end, I would like to say that the protesters also require to be responsible in exercising their democratic rights, respecting laws, fair to themselves and to their fellow citizens while expressing their rejection to irresponsible and non-fair laws while being accountable for their own actions.   

Picture from Pixabay




Posted by Alankar Karpe on: July 01, 2020 05:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Respect @ Workplace

If you ask anyone in your workplace how they would like to be treated by their managers and co-workers, most will use the words ‘Respect’, ‘Dignity’ and ‘Trust’. No one wants to be treated poorly, with bias and mistrust irrespective of the status, titles at workplace.

In today’s digital age where tweets run faster than thoughts and opinions are shared faster than the facts, the diversity is no longer means having different race, gender and religions but it also means respecting and treating differences in work style, generations and personalities with equality. Embracing workplace diversity is important, as it increases the talent pool and brings new ideas, perspectives and skills to your workforce.

People don’t always see eye-to-eye, and there are many things colleagues might disagree over at work. The correct order to carry out a project, the best way to solve a problem or a difference in work style could all be areas your employees often clash over. After all, everyone has a different perspective and outlook on how a project will progress. However, it’s important that your employees understand that, while discussion is important, you must be respectful, professional and pleasant while at work.

As we have seen, respect is a very important contributor to forming a positive, vibrant & thriving work culture. There are many ways that you and your teams can increase respect @ work

  • Managing anger. Controlling anger is important when in a professional work environment. You and your employees need to learn to let the little things go. Urge employees to avoid getting fixated and annoyed with things out of their control. Instead, they should learn to understand their triggers; maybe there is a provoking colleague or situation that gets them worked up. If you notice an employee often getting angry at work, you should engage in a one-to-one meeting, where you can discuss anger management techniques that might be beneficial to them.
  • Politeness rules. Politeness is a skill, an approach and a form of respect. This is something that is taught, conditioned and learned. Rude and abrasive conversations between team members will likely disrupt the positive workplace culture which is key to project success. No one wants to come to work if they are among the people who degrade, belittle and insult them.
  • Helping culture and collaboration Respecting each other’s point of view and accepting the differences of opinions helps in accepting each other as they are and increase collaboration and help among each other. The Agile Manifesto emphasizes value on individuals and interactions over processes and tools and emphasizes on Collaboration and helping each other. Once the teams learn to engage in respectful conversations, they will likely feel more confident and encouraged to share ideas and thoughts.
  • Avoid making perception and judging. At workplace, it is very easy to typecast people, their choices, behaviors. It is very easy to make perception based on very little information or fact and more often than not, perception is made when people fail to talk, understand and communicate clearly. Judging people is an easy way to destroy a positive workplace. It stops team members getting to know each other and can result in anger and aggravation. Encourage your teams to get to know each other instead and you start to develop a more peaceful atmosphere


Posted by Alankar Karpe on: April 10, 2019 09:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (21)

Cheating ā€“ Small or big?

How much cheating can be allowed to win? Is it important to cheat to win or is it ok to lose but not to cheat?

Some of us face some of these questions when either we as leaders take any decision or we follow leader who says winning come before the virtue and values.

During the recent ball tampering episode happened in South Africa followed by serious admissions and long term bans, one of the questions come up very strongly is that how come no one from the 11 people of the team said ‘No’ to cheat when it was tabled.  

Are we becoming so blind followers to our leaders that we don’t apply our own values, learnings to say that – Hey, this looks wrong, something doesn’t seem right here and we should stop, I think we are making the error of judgement. How many times we have found ourselves in the situations where our senior leaders, Famous personalities are asking us to do something and we doubt it?

Of course it is easier to say that it’s all part of the culture where winning comes before values and virtues. So what if it’s only a game but a loss if not tolerated and ‘winning is everything’ rather than ‘winning honorably’. The cricket team in question here of course resorted to many other ways in past like sledging, over the top celebration, aggressive send-off in the past which were considered acceptable in the light of law and hence ball tampering seems to be a little further extension in order to win.

This is the problem with small cheating and it is often found that people tend to forget the line very easily when small becomes large and so large that it completely destroyed their career and image which they have earned hard ways.        

Making the right choice and understanding that what we are planning to do is not right becomes very complicated, especially when everything is a matter of just few degrees.

This was a the true test of leadership where as a leader, you have to show trust on to your team, find ways to success by inspiring the team in the event of loss and improve so that team can return to the winning ways. The true leader knows the line and always plays by the rules even if it means loss.

What Australian captain did was certainly not traits of the true leader. True leaders don’t ask their team members to cheat and they don’t succumb to the pressure of losing so much so that cheating looks last resort. He was thinking that whatever he will do is the acceptable actions and they are the ones who decide the line. Unfortunately it wasn’t so.   

Good leaders don’t cheat and they don’t lose faith in their team and never ceases to try to find ways to succeed. They inspire the team to come out of negativity, they support, help their team to be more positive and productive rather than slumping down to cheat or cut corners.

Needless to say that having ethics is vital because not only it’s based on truth, virtue and righteousness, but true leader also show light to others, guide the team the right way to behave and act.

To conclude, cheating small or big is absolute no-no and focus should be on winning righteously and honorably rather than just winning at any cost.

For more ethical resources please visit:

Posted by Alankar Karpe on: May 14, 2018 07:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (26)

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