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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.
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.
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.
i am Sergio Luis Conte.
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.
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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