The Standard issue

Oliver Parsons

Editor of Modus (RICS)

In our everyday lives, most of us find it relatively easy to judge and conform to appropriate ethical standards, but put any of us into an organisation or company, and everything changes. This is particularly true in business, where leaders, managers and employees face conflicting incentives, messages and pressures from multiple stakeholders.

Not only does this confuse almost any employee’s own moral compass, the prevailing culture can ‘bend’ reality for those within, allowing wrongdoers to feel like they are not even committing an ethical breach at all.

In our cover feature this month, we focus on this fascinating area of organisational psychology, speaking to experts in the field to get inside the head of "the bad guy" and perhaps discover that it was us all along.

Also in this issue:

As the world urbanises at breakneck pace, the finite nature of many resources is becoming very apparent. In this feature, we speak to experts about how smart-planning and the implementation of the "circular economy" on a city-scale could avert disaster.

We make a visit to one of the most successful examples of the custom-build housing movement, Almere in Holland, to find out how the model works and, as the concept receives a timely boost in the UK government’s housing white paper, ask whether its time has finally come in Britain.

Comments (3)

  1. Your cover story on Professional Integrity explores the subject very well. How about Professionally Regulating public sector departments (which carry out construction related activities) the same way private firms / consultancies are Professionally Regulated as a way of encouraging good behaviour?

    Martin Liria Martin Liria, 3 March 2017 3 at 13:43PM

  2. 'False friends': an excellent article on ethics and the dangerous factors and 'double-think' that create environments ripe for unethical behaviour. A must read for all involved in ethical decision making.

    Colin Foster Colin Foster, 6 March 2017 6 at 09:48AM

  3. Helped to raise awareness of personal, environmental and cultural factors and the need for clear guidlines and standards.
    It's an important element of sustainability.

    Kevin Eccles Kevin Eccles, 28 April 2017 28 at 11:54AM

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