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Ethical Issues: Occidental Engineering Case Case Study


Wayne is in a dilemma on whether to lie to protect the jobs of all employees at Occidental Engineering Company or protect professional ethics. He was in charge of developing prototype software for controlling airlines, but it had some defaults during testing. His manager pressurized him to adhere to the contract requirements and protect the company’s image, as well as jobs for employees. If he failed, there was the risk of laying-off the entire workforce and damaging the company’s image. Therefore, Wayne is required to balance between ethical requirements and pressure from the terms of the contract and his immediate boss.

The ethical dilemma is whether Wayne should choose between protecting the professional ethics and anyone who uses the software and delivering the product on time to protect the jobs of many workers and the image of the company (McFarland, 2013).

Wayne tried to be right in discharging his duty (McFarland, 2013). However, this could have undermined his competence. The FAA could have considered the whole company as incompetent. It is ethical to protect the lives of people. Therefore, Wayne’s idea not to allow the product into the market adhered to professional requirements. However, failure to implement it makes him unethical (McFarland, 2013). According to the requirements of professional integrity, he could not have allowed the product because it was defective. However, it was not right to allow the product with the argument that they would update it later.

Furthermore, his decision indicates how ethics can be influenced by the social environment, especially those in authority. For instance, Deborah influenced his decision to allow the product though it was not ethical to do so.

Analyze and defend Wayne’s decision

The initial suggestion by Wayne was ethical. He argued that it was unethical to release a defective product to be used because it endangered the lives of many individuals. His idea was to protect his professional integrity by being honest. However, he later chose to allow this product into the market. The final decision was unethical, and it overshadowed all the other ethical decisions made earlier. However, on the part of the company and employees, the choice was worth being implemented. In case he had not allowed the product and claimed to defend the professional integrity, the FAA would have rendered the whole company incompetent.

In addition, this would have ruined the company’s image. Therefore, they would not have accessed any other contract in the future. Furthermore, underfunding and the inadequate workforce were to be blamed for the defect in the product. Therefore, allowing it was meant to secure funds to increase the efficiency of operations. His choice to allow the product was right (McFarland, 2013).

Recommendation

Wayne chose to allow the product because of internal and external pressures (McFarland, 2013). However, he could have executed his decision and attach a recommendation regarding the capacity that the program could control. This recommendation could have been helpful to avoid the system from being overloaded. Wayne could have told the FAA that he would be upgrading the program to suit the required capacity. However, this may not have been welcomed by the FAA. In this case, they ordered for a program that had no limits on the number of aircraft it could control. In order to adhere to ethical requirements, this was the right way of making the decision. A rational person will always give allowances for any action as long as it serves to protect people’s rights.

Reference

McFarland, S. J. M. (2013). Occidental Engineering Case Study. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Ethical Issues: Occidental Engineering Case." January 11, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ethical-issues-occidental-engineering-case/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Ethical Issues: Occidental Engineering Case'. 11 January.

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