The Erosion of Ethics Has Caused Massive Damage Within the Construction Industry

Beaufort, S.C., Dec. 16, 2011 — "When greed and corruption occur within the enterprise which hires civil engineers and construction managers, it leads to deterioration in the values once considered the bedrock of the engineering profession," states Paul Gogulski, P.E., President of Gogulski & Associates, Inc. "Those who profess that nothing is wrong so long as everything is legal have been deceived by those who have acquired considerable skill in using, interpreting and manipulating the law."

Gogulski asserts that Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s premise that "Life organized legalistically has shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil" has proven to be true. Examples include case histories of major projects such as: The Alaska Pipeline, Disney’s Contemporary Resort Hotel, the Las Vegas Monorail, Owens Lake Dust Mitigation, Ariel Hotel at City Center, the Venetian Casino Resort, the Harmon Tower, Boston’s Big Dig, and the Clarksville Marina. In each case "situational ethics" have prevailed over intellectual integrity, says Gogulski. He continues, "The resulting litigation speaks for itself. The construction industry does not seem to learn from history. The 1980 Wade Commission report regarding mismanagement of public works projects in Boston concluded with the statement: ‘We have learned that corruption is a way of life in Massachusetts.’ Similarly, Robert A. Caro’s ‘The Power Broker – Robert Moses and the Fall of New York’ confirms the worst of character defects existing throughout decades of abusive power. The same corruption exists today in epidemic proportions.

"Most engineers and project managers have a tendency to avoid controversy and appease those in charge who often show little, if any, consideration for ethics in their quest for profit. Engineers and project managers are tempted to ‘go with the flow’ and therefore condone the ethical issues which they know to be wrong, but fear being replaced by someone who would present a more ‘enlightened’ temperament for the decision-makers to continue their quest. When decision-making is examined from a perspective of ethical values and moral codes, the motivation of decision-makers appears oblivious to any standard which may interfere with that precious ‘bottom line’ … profit." Solzhenitsyn says in "Warning to the West": This is something which is almost incomprehensible to the human mind: that burning greed for profit which goes beyond all reason, all self-control, all conscience, only to get money.

Gogulski & Associates, Inc. offers a perspective of lessons learned from over fifty years in civil engineering, construction management, and forensic consulting. With litigation on the rise and likely to continue unabated, Gogulski offers insight into the systemic issues which cause arrogance and greed to flourish with the increase of claims, and uses common sense within the contract’s terms and conditions for resolution of excessive damages. On a broader scale, engineers are called upon to step forward in leadership positions with the bedrock of ethics proven over eons of time just as they did in ancient Egypt under the Pharaohs. Gogulski states that "The survival of our nation depends upon a return to the values and ethics of our founders." Civil engineers are proposed as the most capable to lead the parade back to achieve the goals of freedom professed in the Constitution and Bill of Rights as the right way of life for America.  

Paul Gogulski, P.E.
Gogulski & Associates, Inc.
Beaufort, SC
(843) 470-0459