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Engineering Ethics - Essay Example

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Name: Class: Instructor: Engineering Ethics Whistle-Blowing One of the duties of engineers is to protect the health and safety of the public. This is outlined in the code of ethics of professional engineering societies. This code of ethics grants engineers authority to blow the whistle on acts or projects that pose great harm to the public…
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Download file to see previous pages The whistle-blowing is kept within the organization. External whistle-blowing happens when the employee reports any act of wrongdoing by the organization to higher authorities outside the organization. This could be newspapers or any law-enforcement authority. Just like whistle-blowing in a football match, this act is termed as disloyal. The act of whistle-blowing could be anonymous when it is done by an employee who does not want to be identified or acknowledged when the whistle-blower reveals him or herself. Whistle-blowing may lead to distrust, disharmony and conflict among employees. Whistle-blowing should be attempted when the following four conditions are fully met; the need, proximity, capability and as a last resort (Fleddermann 108). Case Study: Vandivier the Whistle-Blower B.F. Goodrich Corporation was in-charge of producing breaks and wheels for military craft and became a major contractor to the Air Force. The design for the product was to be tested and the need for its performance mandatory so that the corporation could be awarded the contract. Materials that could work perfectly from the design were not available, hence the design failed to meet the required specifications. Nevertheless, Kermit Vandivier, a technical writer for the corporation wrote a report on the new A7-D brakes that was integral for decision-making process by the Air Force. Vandivier knew that some of the test results had been rigged and raised an alarm but the management thwarted him. His concern was on the safety of the brakes and his legal responsibility. He further contacted his attorney and later the FBI who investigated the matter. Vandivier left the firm later and blew the whistle again to Daily News and the matter was handled by Senator William Proxmire. From the GAO report, the discrepancies were noted but no official action was taken (Fleddermann 115,116). Did Vandivier meet the criteria set out in the previous section for whistle blowing? In other words, was there a need for the whistle to be blown? YES. The conditions set for whistle blowing are; the need, proximity, capability, and last resort. The brakes offered safety for the Air Force staff when their airplanes take off or land or during emergencies. The harm that could be created was clear and important, hence there was need to blow the whistle (Fleddermann 109). Did he have proximity? He also had first hand information about the brakes since he was the one responsible for writing a credible report that would lead to acceptance or disqualification of the product. This made him qualify the second condition of proximity (Fleddermann 109). Was he capable? Although he internally blew the whistle, he was not in a capable position to stop the vice. The management thwarted his efforts and this risked his career and financial security. He left the job and got employment in other firms, yet the issue was not resolved (Fleddermann 109). Was it a last resort? The forth condition to consider before whistle-blowing is that it must be a last resort after focusing on other alternative options, and other available options within the organization do not bear fruit. Vandivier followed this condition. His first attempt was to report to the management about the malpractice. After the management thwarted his efforts, he reported the matter to the U.S Attorney who advised him to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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