Fundamental Rules of Ethical Conduct for Engineers (Case Study Sample)
R&M Machinery had for years provided XYZ with sophisticated equipment and reliable repair service. XYZ returned a failed piece of equipment. A meeting was held which included Archie Hunter, a representative from XYZ; Norm Nash, R&M's returned goods area representative, and, Walt Winters, an R&M engineer intimately acquainted with the kind of equipment XYZ had returned Norm Nash represented R&M's "official position": the piece of equipment is allright. However, during the course of the meeting it becomes apparent to Walt Winters that the problem has to be R&M's. He suspects that the equipment was not properly tested out by R&M, and that it failed because of an internal problem. Should Walt say anything about this in the presence of the customer, or should he wait until after the meeting to discuss this with Norm Nash?
Walt keeps silent during the meeting. After the meeting he talks with Norm about his diagnosis. He suggests they tell XYZ that the problem is R&M's fault, and that R&M willreplace the defective equipment. Norm replies, "I don't think it's wise to acknowledge that it's our fault. There's no need to hang out our wash and lessen XYZ's confidence in the quality of our work. A 'good will' gesture to replace the equipment should suffice." R&M management decides to tell XYZ that they will adjust to the customer's needs "because you have been such a good customer all these years." Although R&M replaces the equipment at its own exprense, it does not tell XYZ the real nature of the problem.
Discuss R&M resolution of the problem. Should R&M's way of handling the problem be of any concern to Walt Winters at this point, or is it basically a "management problem"? III
Many engineers eventually move into management positions. If Walt Winters moves into management, what lessons, if any, might he take with him from the above situation?
Chemical Engineering Sophomore Seminar
Engineering is vital and grasped profession. As members of this occupation, engineers are awaited to show the highest levels of honesty and integrity. Engineering has a direct and vital effect on the quality of life for all folks. Accordingly, the services offered by engineers needs honesty, impartiality, fairness and justice, and must be committed to the safeguarding of the public health, safety, and welfare. Engineers must execute under a standard of professionall conduct that needs adherence to the highest fundamentals of ethical conduct.
Walt Winter might have violated the rule of holding paramount health, safety, and welfare in public if he talked to XYZ before discussing the matter with his company.
Also, Walt Winter would have violated the rule of performing services in the area of their competency.
Rule of holding paramount health, safety, and welfare in public
This is the fundamental rule engineering ethics, since engineers are expected to exhibit highest standard of integrity, and honesty “Engineers shall not reveal facts, data or information without the prior consent of the client or employer except as authorized or required by law or this Code (Canons,1993).” R&M Machinery provided XYZ quality equipment and reliable repair service for many years. R&M Machinery was not expecting it to fail. Engineer Walter Winter must have a prior consent with employer before sharing the information with XYZ.
Rule of performing services in the area of his competency.
According to (Canons,1993). Engineers shall undertake assignments only when qualified by education or experience in the specific technical fields involved. Norm Nash was representing the position management and he made a decision to deny any defect on company’s product. This decision has been made based of public image and ignorance of firm’s engineer. Walter Winter is not competent in the area of management. His position is on technical support not, public relation. Walter Winter from his expertise suspected that the equipment was not properly tested by R&M, and it failed because of internal problem.
R&M violate the rule of firm shall be guided in all their relations by the highest standards of honesty and integrity. A company requires to acknowledge the error and not distort it. Since XYZ, the company is reputable for selling quality products and have long time relationship the company should tell XYZ the problem. XYZ will have a lot of question which are answered, what if the failure of machine has resulted to a considerable loss in the economy of XYZ, as the product and other instruments may have been mangled by the failure.? What if a significant injury or death happen as the results of the machine? All these questions will lower the trust toward R&M.
The R&M can solve this problem via creative middle way. Since R&M and XYZ good relationship had been established for years, an honest admission for equipment failure will not knock down such great relationship. Credence is set up by integrity and honest cannot be demolished company has been left a lot of unanswered questions. Is this equipment defective? Is it an installation challenge? Has this equipment smashed due to operational defective or improper maintenance? All this unanswered question lead suspicion. Unanswered question ruins client’s confidence than an honest admission manufactures defects. Since Nash has agreed to replace the equipment at no cost, the firm should divulge that their product has a problem.
It is explicit that lack of precise economic value makes this case to be more rearranging. The lesson from Walt Winter makes him to be prospective manager of the firm in coming years. candid can be trivialized in this instance, why must one insist integrity if the cost is high? Honest is not such dear. Sometime it cost a notable deal. When the stakes are high surely it easier to dismiss noble commitments.
The depiction of infallibility, fostered by manager like Nash, the unwillingness to admit the fault leads to unrealistic expectation from clients. When the failure take place, the company requires to be prepared for it.
According to (Martin and Scherzinger 1989) the concept of risk is not well understood by the public. In a place of providing assistance in understanding, many engineers and managers act like Nash, encouraging unrealistic expectation by their attitudes. The public have become intolerant to defeat and more dubious to technical experts who have promised to deliver risk in the people.
Technical professional and product manufacture have a great responsibility to communicate honestly about failures and contribute to welfare and reliability and advancement of engineering designed practice (Carper1889, Gandhinagar 1978). Admittedly, communication is greatly hindered by the enlarging litigiousness of contemporary Kuwait society.
Finally, some question ought to think about. If we note the cost of candid is very small in this case, what if the predicted cost is higher. What if XYZ is the distinguished client, with no accepted business relationships? An honest infelicity will demolish the relationship in it infancy level. What if the failure of equipment has resulted to a greater loss in the economy of XYZ, as the product and other machines may have been vandalized by the failure.? What if a serious injury or death happen as the repercussion of the equipment? Could Nash and Walter answer the way they did if all these happened?
Unfortunately, the example of Nash and Walter gives a little room for honest and moral reasoning.
Quality professional makes distinction. In this case it calls us to differentiating between lying, deceptions and fail to reveal. Lying is morally wrong.
Lie is to state as true what yo
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