January 20, 2019

Code of Ethical Conduct

Code of Ethical Conduct

The 2014-2015 MB EYE on the Future class undertook a project that focused on the issues surrounding ethical conduct in the construction industry.  In doing so, they developed basic parameters that MBI member firms can take into consideration for the development of a company-specific code, or review of an existing code of ethical conduct.    

The concept of ethics can have various meanings and often depends on your perspective from a personal standpoint; from a business standpoint; and from a standpoint that is influenced by external factors beyond your control.  In today’s dynamic marketplace, ethics play a very important part in business decisions and can shape a company’s culture for years to come.

The MBI Board of Directors recently commended the MB EYE Class for tackling a very sensitive, yet timely subject.  Their efforts have resulted in a “white paper” that is to be used as a service to MBI members and to the industry as a whole.  
Please take a moment to review the Code of Ethical Conduct.  Also, consider sharing with others in your firm and your business partners.  We all benefit from ethical practices that instill a culture based on sound business practices.  
For more information on the MB EYE on the Future program, please CLICK HERE.

Master Builders of Iowa


With the help and guidance of the 2014-2015 MB EYE on the Future Class, the Master Builders of Iowa have developed some basic guidelines for member-companies to follow when considering the concept of a “company code of ethics.”  These guidelines are by no means hard-fast rules or mandates.  Rather, the compilation of ethical practices presented below is to be seen as a “blueprint” of sorts for members to consider.  Moreover, it was established to accomplish two primary goals:

  1. If your company does not have a code of ethics, now may be a good time to consider developing and adopting one.  The list presented below is a good place to start, but members are encouraged to gauge the components of an ethical code of conduct that best fits the company’s business strategy and move forth accordingly.  
  2. If your company does have an existing code of ethics, ask yourself when was the last time it was addressed?  Does it still meet the dynamic market place of today?  If, after some initial discussions with your management team, you feel your code of ethics still applies – then mission accomplished.  If your business strategy has changed and the ethical code does not necessarily serve its purpose, then there is no better time than the present to start the discussions to update your ethical conduct code for your company.

Since a code of ethics can vary greatly depending on the corporate culture and a business’ focus, the best place to start is by having a feel for what might go into your written guidelines.  A business code of ethics may need to provide reference to, and guidance on, a business’ standing on any or all of the following topics (and other topics not listed here but that are part of your culture or philosophy). Beyond the below checklist/guidelines, there may also be governmental regulations that may guide the ethics of a particular company.

Code of Ethical Conduct Checklist/Guidelines:

  • Make your word your bond and stronger than a written contract.
  • Hold the safety of the public, the workers, the environment, and the industry as a top priority in all respects to business.
  • Accurately represent all qualifications, experience, knowledge, and competence required to complete a project, and only partake in those projects for which you are qualified.
  • Provide a fair bid and award process.
  • Always seek the client’s consent and understanding before materially altering the scope or objectives of a project.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest and provide full disclosure to affected parties when they exist.
  • Avoid gifts or payments intended to influence the judgment of others.
  • Meet all financial obligations in a responsible manner.
  • Respect the confidentiality of business affairs, proprietary information, intellectual property, and procedures.
  • Courageously stand up and directly contend against all violations of these ethical principles and lead others to embrace and practice them in their communities.


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