Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (University of the City of Manila) Intramuros, Manila

College of Engineering and Technology Computer Engineering Department

Professional Ethics and Values

Written Report Ethics and Professionalism

Submitted by: Aliño, Lailani S. Aloña, Al Jerico M. Layug, Joseph Haydin M. Valenzuela, Jessica Rose P. Verches, Juan Carlos G.

Submitted to: Engr. Maria Rizette Sayo Faculty

November 6, 2011


they also create dangers. Engineering had transformed our sense of connection with the cosmos and even fostered dreams of routine space travel for ordinary citizens. Technology has double implications. Example is the explosion of space shuttles Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003. energy. As it creates benefits it also creates new moral challenges. ENGINEERING AS SOCIAL EXPERIMENTATION. MORAL VALUES ARE EMBEDDED IN . communication. health and protection against natural calamities and to enhance the convenience and beauty of our everyday lives. Sample of this is the first human. There is the same explosion of a space shuttle named Challenger in 1986. which engineers were not being heeded. shelter. Scope of Engineering Ethics 1. transportation. Technological Development is double edge. and engineers share responsibility for creating benefits. preventing harm. 2003 killed the seven astronauts on board. The cause of the explosion was a piece of insulating foam from the external fuel tank that struck the left wing after launch. 2. Technological risk should not overshadow technological benefits and ethics involves appreciating the many positive dimensions of engineering that so deeply enrich our lives. As engineering projects create new possibilities’. this tragedy can be prevented if warnings of experience engineers were heeded. and pointing out dangers. Neil Armstrong. 1969. steps on the moon on July 20. Engineering projects are social experiments that generate both new possibilities and risks. ETHICS AND EXCELLENCE: ENGINEERING.Engineers create products and processes to improve food production. It was feared the caused was a terrorist attack. Case: Columbia’s Explosion on February 1.

using materials that were readily available and maintainable by local workers. They also had to improve the cleaning procedures to prevent damage to the environment. When the engineers know their customers could breathe freely. The engineers don’t have contact with their costumers because of long working hours. In making this assignment.Moral values permeate all aspects of technological development. The primary goal is to double the current chicken and egg production. They had to create safe access for the villages. Case: There is an assignment in freshman course at Harvey Mudd College to design a chicken coop that would increase egg and chicken production. Personal meaning commitments matter in engineering ethics. Moral Values are embedded at several junctures in engineering projects including: • • • • The basic standards of safety and efficiency The structure of technological corporations as communities of people engaged in shared activities The character of engineers who spearhead technological progress The idea of engineering as profession that combines advance skill with commitment to the public good 3. hence ethics and excellence in engineering go together. relax and enjoy life because of . they are focused on the problems on the lungs not on the people. along with principles of responsibility that are stated in codes of ethics and are incumbent on all engineers. PERSONAL COMMITMENT AND MEANING. decide between cages or open are. Case: A team of engineers designed an artificial lung marketed by their company. and achieving this goal includes having a good relationship to the local villagers. the students identify the plausible building materials. and design structures for strength and endurance. They had to ensure humane condition for the chickens.

they were energized that their efforts really did improve people’s lives.their product. PROMOTING DOING. a large accounting firm charged with checking books of Enron and other corporations. The moral reasons might be obligations. 5. ideals. Case: A chemical engineer working in the environmental division of a computer manufacturing firm learns that her company might be discharging unlawful amounts of lead and arsenic into the sewer. and it is not immediately obvious what should be done. goods. or other moral considerations. RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT AND PREVENTING WRONG Promoting responsible conduct is even more important that punishing wrong doing. Personal commitment is having mind bot commitments to shared responsibilities and to these more individual commitments as they affect professional endeavors. Case: Beginning in 2001. MICRO AND MACRO ISSUES . was charged in complicity and was forced to dissolve. it imposes restrictive laws on the discharge of lead and arsenic. but her manager insists the cost of doing so is prohibitive and that technically the company is in compliance with the law. scandals shook Americans’ corporations. The city processes the sludge into a fertilizer used by local farmers. or in which the applications of moral values are problematic. MYRIAD MORAL REASONS GENERATE ETHICAL DILEMMAS Ethical dilemmas or moral dilemmas are situations in which moral reasons come into conflict. 6. Arthur Andersen. 4. rights. Preliminary investigations convince the engineer that the company should implement stronger pollution controls. To ensure safety. Enron and WorldCom are bankrupted.

such as the directions in technological development. and the lingering threat of nuclear war.Micro issues concern the decisions made by individuals and companies. gas guzzling and excessive polluting. Case: A debate about sport utility vehicles (SUVs). By 2002. leading to breakup of a century-old business partnership. 7. policies and values that are morally desirable in engineering practice and research. It refers to moral values that are sound. mass death on highways and in high-tech wars. even the most harmful. policies and laws that are desirable. it is synonymous with morality. Macro issues concern more global issues. As it turned out. the laws that should and should not be passed. The Ford Explorer and the Bridgestone/Firestone. CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM ABOUT TECHNOLOGY Pessimists view advanced technology as ominous and often out of control. Micro issues: Bridgestone/Firestone used a flawed design tire design and poor quality control at a major manufacturing facility. Optimists highlight how technology profoundly improves all our lives. . providing tires to the former. the hazard had multiple sources. What is Engineering Ethics? The word ethics has several meanings. policies and laws are morally justified. leading to blowouts and rollovers. Engineering ethics is the study of the decisions. They point to pollution. It studies which actions. and then dragged its feet in admitting the problem and recalling dangerous tires. During late 1990s. Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone blamed each other for the problem. reducing the vision of drivers in shorter cars behind them on freeways. actions that are morally required (right) or morally permissible (all right). Ford chose tires with a poor safety margin. Macro issues: It center on charges the SUVs are among the most harmful vehicles on the road. given their numbers. The problems are instability because of their height that leads to rollovers. relied on drivers to maintain proper inflation within a very narrow range. estimates were that 300 people had died and another thousand were injured and more recent estimates place the numbers much higher since then. blinding other drivers’ vision because of high-set lights. principles. far greater “kill rate” of other drivers during accidents. and the collective responsibilities of groups such as engineering professional societies and consumer groups. fears of biological and chemical weapons. goals. reports began to multiply about the tread on Explorer tires separating from the rest of the tires. depletion of natural resources.

beginning with earning a degree. Moral awareness Cogent moral reasoning Moral coherence Moral imagination Moral communication Moral reasonableness Respect for persons Responsibility Meaning of responsibility 1. The unifying goal is to increase moral autonomy. Obligations. 5. including the capacity to understand and act on moral reasons. moral values and what morally ought to be done. acquired when we take on special roles such as parents. Moral autonomy can be viewed as the skill and habit of thinking rationally about ethical issues on basis of moral concern. 2. referring thereby to what specific individuals or groups believe and how they act. such as to be honest. Why Study Engineering Ethics? Engineering ethics should be studied because it is important. we speak of Henry Ford’s ethics or ethics of American Engineers. . Other obligations are role responsibility. In a normative sense. Autonomy means “self-determining” or “independent”. employees. Accountable. 3. “engineering ethics” refers to justified moral values in engineering. moral good and bad. 6. 7. 2. both in contributing to safe and useful technological products and in giving meaning to engineers’ endeavors. responsibilities are obligations – types of actions that are morally mandatory. It is also complex. being responsible means being accountable. 4. Some obligations are incumbent on each of us. without implying that their beliefs and actions are justified. or professionals. The direct aim is to increase one’s ability to deal effectively with moral complexity in engineering. Morality concerns moral right and wrong. fair and decent. Skills related to engineering ethics: 1. This means having the general capacities for moral agency.In a descriptive sense. in ways that call for serious reflection throughput a career.

Responsible becomes a synonym for blameworthy and praiseworthy. is reckless. Conscientious. Legal responsibility is whatever the law requires. Morally admirable engineers like LeMessurier accept their obligations and are conscientious in meeting them. even under difficult circumstances. Other wrong doing is due to weakness of will. accountability for wrong doing is at issue. Negligence. Wrong doing takes two primary forms: i. 3. Causal responsibility consists simply in being a cause of some event. Blameworthy/Praiseworthy. and they largely succeed in doing so. Engineers encounter both moral and technical problems concerning variability in materials available to them. and relationships of authority within corporations. pressure imposed by time and the whims of the marketplace. whereby we give in to temptation or fail to try hard enough. occurs when we unintentionally fail to exercise due care in meeting responsibilities. c. Moral responsibility a. but the adult who left the child with the matches is morally responsible. Progression of Engineering Tasks . (a young child playing with matches causes a house to burn down. Dimensions of Engineering Ethical issues arise as a product develops from a mental concept to physical completion.) b. the quality of work by co-workers at all levels. that is fragrant disregard of known risk and responsibilities.a. ii. 4. Voluntary wrong doing. In context where it is clear that 5. They diligently try to do the right thing. Job responsibility consists of one’s assigned tasks at the place of employment.

.Terms Used ° ° Products – the totality of goods or services that a company makes available. an entire communication system or an oil refinery complex. especially on a large scale. can be mass-produced household appliances. can occur on a factory floor or at a construction site. Manufacturing – the making of goods or wares by manual labour or by machinery.

or the public works department of a city. Dealing with this kind of process requires close cooperation among the engineers of different departments so that information can be exchanged more freely. might be employees of large or small corporations. Engineering generally does not consist of completing designs or processes one after another in a straightforward progression of isolated tasks. The progression of engineering tasks is often not carried out in a smooth continuous fashion. and use of engines or machines. The engineers are forced to stop during initial attempt at a solution when they think of a better approach. consulting firms. construction. detailed design of part of an engine. They will have to return to an earlier stage with the modifications they have. It all depends on the latest findings from current experiments. entrepreneurs. Nor do you start off with a . The back-tracking and alterations does not start and end on the same stages of the process and in the same way. where in the outcome depends on the previous result. creating the concepts of a new product. falling to. Changes may be needed to improve the products performance and/or meet cost and time constraints.° ° ° Engineers – a person trained and skilled in the design. According to Herbert Simon: “Design is usually the kind of problem solving we call ill-structured. or manufacture of a product according to complete drawings and specifications submitted by another party. Tasks – a definite piece of work assigned to. you don’t start off with a well-defined goal. The continuous interruption of changes and modifications results in an iterative process. or in any of various branches of engineering. duty. Intermediate results during or at the end of each stage often require backtracking to make modifications in the design developed. The design iterations can be compared to a feedback loop in control system. Errors need to be detected and corrected. Organizations – a group of persons organized for some end or work... or consultants. might be for-profit organizations. but it involves a trial-and-error process with backtracking based on decisions made after examining results obtained along the way. tempered by the outcome of earlier iterations and experience with similar product designs. or expected of a person. improving an existing product.

Bogus materials and components not detected. but controlled by production manager. Inadequate testing of purchased parts. Poor control of toxic wastes. Installation and training subcontracted out.clear set of alternatives. Not independent. repairs Used inappropriately or for illegal applications. Disregard or repetitive-motion stress on workers. Product oversold beyond client’s needs or means. prototyping Design specifications Scheduling of tasks Purchasing Fabrication of parts Assembly/construction Quality control/testing Advertising and sales Shipping. Product to be used illegally depends on Goals. Hesitation to recall the product when found to be faulty. tests rushed or results falsified. Product too large to ship by land. inadequate supervised. installation. Inadequate supply or spare parts. Bribes. failure-prone safety devices devices. Uncritical use of handbook data and computer programs based on unidentified methodologies. Design specifications unavailable or untested materials. Testing of prototype done only under favourable conditions or not completed most Too tight for adjustments during manufacture and use. training Uneven: Overly detailed in designer’s area or expertise.” Engineering tasks and possible problems Tasks Conceptual design A selection of possible problems Blind to new concepts. Variable quality of materials and workmanship. Workplace safety. Violation of patents or trade secrets. Safety measures and Reliance on overly complex. kickbacks. quality). Operations manuals not ready. Overloaded. Goals and alternatives have to emerge through the design process itself: one of its first tasks is to clarify goals and to begin to generate alternatives. . Design changes not carefully checked Promise of unrealistic completion date based on insufficient allowance for unexpected events Specifications written to favour one vendor. performance Unrealistic assumptions. Hence. parts. False advertising (availability. or perhaps any alternatives at all. Lack of a simple “safety exit” Use Maintenance. marginal elsewhere. Preliminary analysis Detailed analysis Simulation.

Jr. Inattention Responsible Professionals and Ethical Corporations Due to the nature of engineering.Monitoring product effects of No formal procedure for following life cycle of product. Demand for engineers exploded -along with these is the demand for science-and-mathematics-based training -the dominance of independent consulting engineers began to fade . Silo Mentality – An attitude found in some organizations that occurs when several departments or groups do not want to share information or knowledge with other individuals in the same company. The notion that there are safety engineers somewhere down the line to catch potential problems f. public notification of hazards Recycling/disposal Some problems that might arise a. much of it has been embedded in corporations. canals. Lack of vision b. 1. The growth of public resources made possible the extensive building of railroads. g. Improper use or disposal of the product. Incompetence c. and other large projects. disposal of product. Layton. both in its goal of producing economical and safe products for marketplace and in its usual complexity of large projects that require many individuals to work together. Lack of time or lack of proper materials d. e. its effects on society and environment Lack of attention to ultimate dismantling. Dishonesty h.. 2. Two main stages in the development of engineering (19th century) according to Edwin T.

 created in 1985. continuing education and updating knowledge are also required. Morally Committed Corporations Enron  became the largest bankruptcy in U. in order to ensure the public good is served.  in 1990. or aspect of the public good. 1. sciences." which forms the basis for individual professionals to exercise autonomous professional judgment in their work. and it does so by making a concerted effort to maintain high ethical standards throughout the profession. enforcing standards of conduct. Self-regulation . History.  grew rapidly in selling natural gas and wholesale electricity in a new era of government deregulation. Preparation to engage in the work typically requires extensive formal education. 3. and representing the profession before the public and the government. medicine is directed toward promoting health. .well-established societies of professionals are allowed by the public to play a major role in setting standards for admission to the profession.are forms of work involving advanced expertise.” a conflict between “The role of the engineer represents a patchwork of compromises between professional ideals and business demands. The aims and guidelines in serving the public good are detailed in professional codes of ethics. and engineering toward technological solutions to problems concerning the public's well-being. indulged by auditors from Arthur Andersen. erasing 60 billion dollars in shareholder value. it began using fraudulent accounting practices.“The engineer’s problem has centred on professional independence and bureaucratic loyalty. Public good . For example. safety and health.professions require sophisticated skills ("knowing-how") and theoretical knowledge ("knowing-that") in exercising judgment that is not entirely routine or susceptible to mechanization. need to be taken seriously throughout the profession.the occupation serves some important public good. Often this is referred to as the “autonomy of the profession.S. and concerted service to the public good. law toward protecting the public's legal rights. Advanced expertise . drafting codes of ethics.” Professions . which. Generally. 2. arts). including technical studies in one or more areas of systematic knowledge as well as broader studies in the liberal arts (humanities. a major accounting firm that collapsed in the aftermath of the Enron scandal. selfregulation.

including employees. Quickie Designs  manufactures wheelchairs.  because of the unwieldiness of the heavy wheelchairs.  for five consecutive years. But often the wider question of how a corporation's product is ultimately used.  founded in 1980 by Marilyn hamilton. she requested two of her friends to design a highly mobile.  the company rapidly expanded that make a variety of innovatively engineered products for people with disabilities. For instance. customers.  created a "special purpose entities" named "raptors*". used unethical practices like "price manipulation" in sales of electricity to California resulting in massive financial losses to the state.  supports Winners on Wheels. the well-being of workers. cultural activities. lightweight and versatile wheelchair made from aluminum tubing. and charities. the movement is reflected in what is called "stakeholders theory": corporations have responsibilities to all groups that have a vital stake in the corporation. Thus. along with noxious . between 1996 and 2000. what happens to used dry-cell batteries? In the United States nearly three billion of them. voted in a FORTUNE magazine poll to be the most innovative corporation in the United States. a school teacher and an athlete who two years was paralyzed in a hang-gliding accident." Social Responsibility Movement Since the 1960's. dealers. suppliers. a "social responsibility movement" has raised attention to product quality. often where it lacked expertise.  small and exceptionally committed to what has been called "caring capitalism.  *it was used to keep Enron's credit rating bouyant so that it could continue borrowing and investing heavily in ever-expanding markets. a not-for-profit organization that sponsors sports events for young people in wheelchairs. and by whom. civic groups. beyond being concerned with the employee relations and other internal organizational matters. is conveniently put aside because the effects often do not appear nearby or early on and important questions are therefore not raised. responsible corporations also strive to be good neighbors by supporting local schools. the wider community and the environment. local communities and the general off-balance sheet partnerships deigned to conceal the hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and to inflate reported profits.

so corporations are accountable to the general public. 3. Corporations. Just as individuals are accountable for meeting their obligations. A good example of a corporation's efforts to be in touch with its customers is Cardiac Pacemakers inc. when we say that Intel created a new subsidiary. a task that satisfies even shareholders when common action throughout a particular industry is in offing. others have ready excuses that contain at most partial truths: "We cannot control who buys the products. While many corporations are genuinely concerned about what happens to a product once it leaves the factory. Yet corporations have internal structures consisting of policy manuals and flowcharts assigning responsibilities to individuals. To be sure. 15 billion are produced in a year. we understand that individuals with the authority took certain steps. fairness and public spiritedness to certain corporations and not to others. of St. end up in the municipal waste stream annually. The actions of the corporation are performed by individuals and subgroups within the corporation. too. have the capacity for morally responsible agency because it is intelligible to speak of the corporation as acting. or when the corporation can shine as an industry pioneer. When those individuals act in accordance with their assigned responsibilities. how it is discarded!" Obviously the task is not easy and usually requires industry-wide and government efforts. the corporation as a unity can be said to act. Paul. so too corporations manifest the virtue of responsibility when they routinely meet their obligations. how it is used. Just as individuals have responsibilities. so do corporations. but socially responsible corporations participate in finding solutions. Just as individuals manifest the virtue of responsibility when they regularly meet their obligations. Thus. 2. structured within legal frameworks.ingredients. according to how the flowchart and policy manual specifies areas of authority. Minnesota. corporations are communities of individuals. Worldwide. it makes sense to ascribe virtues such as honesty. to their employees and customers. Senses of Corporate Responsibilities 1. in general. . and to their stockholders. Heart patients are invited to plant so they may share perhaps alleviate their concerns while employees working on the pacemakers develop a heightened awareness of their responsibilities to turn out high-quality product.

4. "responsible" is a synonym for praiseworthy. This is as true for corporation as it is for individuals. . In contexts where it is clear that accountability for wrongdoing is at issue "responsible" becomes a synonym for blameworthy and in contexts where it is clearly that right conduct is at issue.

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