Module 1: Everyday Engg Ethics

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Transcript Module 1: Everyday Engg Ethics

Everyday Engineering Ethics
A Discussion of Common Ethical
Issues Facing the Engineering
Professional
Module 1 in the “Teaching Engineering Ethics” Series
Outline of Material
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Everyday Ethical Issues = Micro-ethics
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Corporate Ethical Climate
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Macro-ethics (systemic issues)
Micro-ethics (the individual and the situation)
Corporate Policies
Industry Practices
Government Oversight vs. “The Market”
NSPE Board of Ethical Review (BER)
Activity: Facing micro-ethical issues
Macro-Ethical Issues
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Safety, Loss of Life, Catastrophic Failures
Typically “Newsworthy” Items
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The Space Shuttle Challenger
Bhopal—Union Carbide
The Ford Pinto
Firestone and Ford Explorer tires
Three Mile Island / Chernobyl Nuclear Reactors
Kansas City Hyatt Hotel (suspended walkway)
The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
Indicative of systemic problems (beyond simple
engineering and day-to-day ethics)
Situational Influences and Factors
Global
Connections
(Society and
Environment)
Company
Family
and
Friends
Engineer
Clients or
Customers
Industry
Government
Law
Public Agencies
Micro-Ethical Issues
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Categories:
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Corporate Commitment / Loyalty
Confidentiality (with company, to clients)
Conflict of Interest and Disclosure
Technical vs. Moral Errors
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Example: 1999 NASA Mars Climate Orbiter Mission Failure
Bribes, Gifts, Kickbacks
Intellectual Property:
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Trade Secrets, Copyrights, and Patents
Micro-Ethical Issues
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Categories (continued):
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Data Integrity and Reporting
Computer Data and Security
Anonymity in Corporations
Risk-Assessment / Risk Management
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In the Design Phase
During the Testing Phase (Test Protocol and Specs)
After product release
Whistle-blowing
Authority, Teams and the Individual Engineer
Situational Factors that govern reasoning and
behavior
Micro-ethics Case Studies
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Goals of Exercise
 To introduce everyday ethical issues you may face
 To facilitate a forum for discussion
Process
 Project Team
 Read and Discuss the Scenario
 Propose a set of Actions (behaviors)
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Propose an action through the lens of each of the three
levels of McCuen’s Six Dimensions of Professional Ethics.
Consider the individual, the situation, and the larger
organization/industry factors
What may be the immediate and long-term results from each
of the three actions?
Use the Codes to justify the decision