Engineers are expected to constitute their professional decisions through the engineering code of ethics. But what is the right decision when their judgment is overruled by securing their employer’s profit under circumstances that endanger their customer’s property? This was Shane’s dilemma when 1 out of 150 chips were found defective in his chip production line. Discarding the defective chips was generating an $8,671.00 loss to the company; thus Rob, his manager, proposed to release all chips to the market without previous quality control. As an engineer, Shane must protect his employer’s reputation, his customer’s welfare, and ultimately, the safety and public health. He must not follow Rob’s recommendation of ceasing quality control in his production line because this would threaten the three entities that the engineering code of ethics requires him to protect.
Ceasing quality control in the chip production line would increase profits for the company, but it would cause customers dissatisfaction and decrease the employer’s reputation. Shane’s line produces 100,000 chips per year with manufacture and testing cost of $9.00 and $4.00 per chip respectively. Even though stopping quality control would yield at least $416,000.00 profit, the name of the company is represented by every chip sold. This accounts for 670 chips from this line that would devalue the reputation of the company even if the chips are returned by the customers and replaced by functional chips. Based on the immediate numerical data the profit of the company would secure a short term asset increment by refraining from quality control. This ephemeral increment would cause the company’s loss of credibility and would forc...
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...is employers’ profit, it is an unethical action for the engineer because it threatens his employer’s, customers’, and the public welfare. Accordingly, Shane shall convey on a meeting with Rob and present to him his conflict of interest by showing him the statistics and side effects that the lack of previous testing on the chips would generate declining the reputation of their own company, damaging the customers’ property, and risking the public safety. And he must explain how as professionals and the authority of such important production process, they are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Shane could also propose to continue quality control in the production line and repair the defective chips which would imply a less severe profit loss for the company considering the reuse of materials and only a investment of $2.00 extra per chip.
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