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Topics: Ethics, Leadership, Organizational Culture
Professional Vs Ethical, a dilemma?!
What drives your interactions with your workspace environment?
Is it "ethical values" or "professional attitude"?
Are "Ethics" and "Professionalism" separable and distinct or tightly linked?
Help me solve this enigma…
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I'd consider them to be interrelated concepts - if you picture a Venn diagram, there would be a significant overlap between them, but one can still be ethical without being professional and vice versa.

Kiron
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1 reply by Gretta Kelzi
Dec 11, 2020 10:53 AM
Gretta Kelzi
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Thank you Kiron for sharing your thoughts, I agree that both are interrelated, and I believe that Ethics should always overcome being Professional, as that would lead to the right decision to take.
If you are talking about both things in the framework of working into a company then let me say there is not a dilemma at all. The code of conduct inside the companies is the foundation of the commitment to ethical excellence and provides the policies and guidelines that define how to do business.
It provides a road map of the policies, standards and procedures
that govern how to do business. Professionalism is defined as "the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person". The code of conduct drives professionalism.
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1 reply by Gretta Kelzi
Dec 11, 2020 10:57 AM
Gretta Kelzi
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Very insightful Sergio, looking at what you have stated at the enterprise organizational level, this is totally perfect, however if we look at it from a practical, micro level, things become more critical, and this is where Ethics become the essential pillar that drives our behavior and decision.
I would have to go with professionalism because when we talk about what drives interactions it's usually the desire to deliver.

Ethics is the framework within which we professionally discharge our duties. Ethics is more about the choices we make and is best described by theories of moral reasoning. I don't believe ethics itself drives interactions, although it does play a role in how we interact and behave.
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1 reply by Gretta Kelzi
Dec 11, 2020 12:19 PM
Gretta Kelzi
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Thank you Joy for sharing your perspective.
i am Sergio Luis Conte.
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1 reply by Gretta Kelzi
Dec 11, 2020 10:53 AM
Gretta Kelzi
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Nice to meet you
Dec 10, 2020 7:19 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
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I'd consider them to be interrelated concepts - if you picture a Venn diagram, there would be a significant overlap between them, but one can still be ethical without being professional and vice versa.

Kiron
Thank you Kiron for sharing your thoughts, I agree that both are interrelated, and I believe that Ethics should always overcome being Professional, as that would lead to the right decision to take.
Dec 11, 2020 12:27 AM
Replying to Ahmad Mushtaq Abdurahimzai
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i am Sergio Luis Conte.
Nice to meet you
Dec 10, 2020 7:58 PM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
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If you are talking about both things in the framework of working into a company then let me say there is not a dilemma at all. The code of conduct inside the companies is the foundation of the commitment to ethical excellence and provides the policies and guidelines that define how to do business.
It provides a road map of the policies, standards and procedures
that govern how to do business. Professionalism is defined as "the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person". The code of conduct drives professionalism.
Very insightful Sergio, looking at what you have stated at the enterprise organizational level, this is totally perfect, however if we look at it from a practical, micro level, things become more critical, and this is where Ethics become the essential pillar that drives our behavior and decision.
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1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Dec 11, 2020 2:37 PM
Sergio Luis Conte
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At that level, the Code of Conduct or the way an organization call it still remains. Is a matter to follow the rules or not. The decision at all levels rest in everyone.
It's a very interesting question Gretta. As PMI members we all are expected to follow code of ethics defined in the PMBOK. As Sergio pointed out, most organizations have code of conduct defined and that defines the organization's ethical standard.

Things become more complicated when a person holds an unpopular value/belief which may come in direct conflict with what the organization considers professional. I know of people who have faced such a situation. In some organizations, small harmless lies are quite acceptable but because of someone's personal faith a person may be uncomfortable even if it's a harmless lie.

Such issues can usually be overcome by having a talk with your superior officer. However, in rare cases it may come to unresolvable conflicts and then leaving the organization may be the only viable option. But remember, leaving should be the last option.
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1 reply by Gretta Kelzi
Dec 13, 2020 6:01 AM
Gretta Kelzi
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Great review Ashish, thank you for pointing out to the PMI Code of Ethics, being a leader, a PM, a project owner... means that you have to show respect and trust your team, in order to be trusted and respected. This is why, in all circumstances and decision making process, I thin Ethics come ahead of professional conduct.
Its hard to separate the two concepts. Professions typically have Code of Ethics. I don't believe one can be a professional without a code of ethics however the Code does not fully define the profession. Although paid by clients, organizations or corporations the professional serves the public and thus a professionals first obligation is to the public.

Although a professional must have a code of ethics one does not have to be a professional to be ethical or commit to a code.

Cut to the bottom - ethics first, professionalism second.
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1 reply by Gretta Kelzi
Dec 13, 2020 6:07 AM
Gretta Kelzi
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Peter, interesting way to handle this topic. This is totally applicable on the individual level, and it becomes harder at the enterprise level, especially with the absence of authentic leadership.
Dec 10, 2020 9:08 PM
Replying to Joy Iyer
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I would have to go with professionalism because when we talk about what drives interactions it's usually the desire to deliver.

Ethics is the framework within which we professionally discharge our duties. Ethics is more about the choices we make and is best described by theories of moral reasoning. I don't believe ethics itself drives interactions, although it does play a role in how we interact and behave.
Thank you Joy for sharing your perspective.
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