The interrelationship of governance, trust and ethics in temporary organizations

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
PMI Education and Research Conference 2012, 2012, pp. 1 - 26
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This paper addresses the variety of ethical decisions that managers in temporary organizations must make. The study investigates how these decisions are influenced by the governance structures of the organizations that provide the framework for governance of temporary organizations such as projects. The governance of these temporary organizations provides a basis for ethical decision-making. One of the links between governance and ethical decision-making is trust. This study investigates the roles of personal trust and system trust as a mechanism to steering ethical decision-making in different governance settings for temporary organizations. Nine case studies were conducted in Europe, Asia, and Australia. The results of this qualitative study show that ethical decision-making is contingent on trust, which, in turn, is contingent on the fulfillment of personal expectations within a given governance structure. The study provides a related model and a number of propositions. The findings are important for project managers as well as project sponsors and other governance institutions for temporary organizations, because they show the prerequisites for ethical decision-making and the consequences of lack of trust. Additional managerial and theoretical implications are discussed.
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