Making ethical engineering management decisions

Making ethical engineering management decisions - Making...

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Unformatted text preview: Making EthicalEngineering Management Decisions in a CompetitiveEnvironment KendraL.B.Cook IntegrityApplicationsIncorporated 5180ParkstoneDrive,Suite260 Chantilly,VA 20151 703-378-8672x630 kcookWintegrity-apps.com Abstract Thispaperillustratesthecomplexitiesofmaking engineering management decisions in a competitive environment. Engineering managers, who have the responsibilityofmakingtrade-offdecisionstomeetdesign andperformancerequirementswhilecompletingtheproject withinagivencostandtimeframe,mustaccomplishallof thiswithoutjeopardizingthesafetyoftheusers. Specific case studies are examined, particularly pertaining to the 1986 spaceshuttleChallengertragedy. Recommendations toaidengineeringmanagersinmakingethicaldecisionsina competitiveenvironmentarealso presented."12 TABLEOFCONTENTS 1.INTRODUCTION.................................. 1 2 . ENGINEERINGETHICS .................................. 1 3.ETHICAL ENGINEERING MANAGERS .................... 2 4.CASE STUDIES .................................. 3 5. RECOMMENDATIONS .................................. 7 6.CONCLUSION .................................. 8 REFERENCES......... ......................... 8 BIOGRAPHY........ .......................... 8 APPENDIX A: SAMPLE ETHICAL CHECKLIST ......... 10 1.INTRODUCTION In an ideal world, there would be sufficient time and funding to complete every projectperfectly, to meet all objectivesandrequirementswiththehighestlevelofsafety. However, inreality,projectsseekingoutsidefundingand support are always in competition. The competitive environmentinwhichtheyoperatetodayleavesengineering managers, whose decisions are primarily concerned with estimatingrisksandbalancingbudgetsanddeadlines,inthe position to make critical ethical decisions with serious consequences. Inacompetitiveenvironment,thedecision of engineering managers (and other technical decision makers)toholdparamountthesafetyandwellbeingofthe public isbeing challenged. Engineering managers must constantly make trade-offdecisions to meet design and performance requirements while completing the project withinagivencostandtimeframe,allwithoutjeopardizing thesafetyoftheusers. 1 11-4244-1488-1/08/$25.00 C 2008IEEE. 2 IEEEAC paper#1641,Version 1, Updated14December2007 For the purpose ofthispaper, engineering managers are those whose primary responsibilities focus on making technicalmanagement decisionsregarding cost, schedule, and performance of the project. The ethical decisions discussedinthispaperarewithregardtotheeffectsofthe products and services on the "stakeholders" in each situation. Manypeoplebelievethatthereisa"right"thingtodobased onmoralprinciple,andothersbelievetherightthingtodo depends on the situation- ultimately it's up to the individual. Bob Dunn, President and CEO of San Francisco-basedBusinessforSocialResponsibilityexplains "Ethicaldecisionsaren'taseasyastheyusedtobe. Now, they're the difference between right and right." [7] Preston Townley, in his speech "Business Ethics: CommitmenttoToughDecisions"statesthat"...itoughttoCommitmenttoToughDecisions"statesthat"....
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This note was uploaded on 03/13/2010 for the course CAST Ethhics taught by Professor Shak during the Spring '10 term at Rochester.

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Making ethical engineering management decisions - Making...

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