Summary And Analysis Of Article Engineering Summary

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1 Type: Summary Paper: #35538379 Related Topics: Social Responsibility, Public Policy, Corporate Social Responsibility, Engineering Ethics Published January 25, 2023
Excerpt from Summary :


In Engineering Ethics Beyond Engineers Ethics, Basart & Serra (2013) apply a systems approach to the field of engineering to encourage greater collective responsibility. According to the authors, engineers cannot simply rely on individual ethical decisions to promote global ethical values. Individualism needs to give way to collectivism: the knowledge that engineering never occurs in a vacuum, and that engineering processes and decisions are interrelated with issues like politics, public policy, ecological ethics, and human rights. Engineers are far more than their daily work, and need to reposition and reframe their roles as part of the global community. The organizations that employ engineers are likewise complex systems with diverse stakeholders and mutable boundaries between internal and external variables. When promoting goals like corporate sustainability or social responsibility, organizations need to consider more than just laws and regulations, but work quality, supplier-side ethical values, and a collection of additional factors that influence the overall impact of the engineers work.

Semantically speaking, the authors differentiate between engineering ethics and engineers ethics. This distinction is important because engineers do have a high degree of autonomy in their work. When individual engineers ethics take precedence over a more global engineering ethics, problems of accountability and personal responsibility can preclude honesty, integrity, and ethical outcomes. When failures or accidents happen, blame can too easily be distributed in a world where individualism and autonomy prevail over collective responsibility to an engineering ethic. The authors propose two courses of action: revising the definition of responsibility, and the development of a so-called heroic engineer who possesses exemplary character (Basart & Serra, 2013, p. 181). The latter is important but far less realistic in the cultivation of a meaningful vision of applied engineering ethics.

Strength and Validity

A key strength…strengthen their programs of corporate social responsibility and sustainability. Ironically, though, a collective concept of engineering ethics does still require the personal commitment of each individual.

The article can also be applied to a framework for law and public policy. When corporations are permitted to cloud ethical responsibility, it becomes too difficult to create meaningful changes. Whistle-blowers need to be supported with strong company and legal policies, and engineers need their professional organizations to back them up, substantiate claims, and urge changes to policy and practice. At every step of the supply chain, ethics matter. When pressure is placed on key drivers in the supply chain, it may be possible to revise the global ethical frameworks that promote good governance and which also contribute to improvements in the economy. Social justice and economic development do not need to be conflicting goals. This article is therefore instrumental in…

Sources Used in Documents:


Basart, J.P. & Serra, M. (2013). Engineering ethics beyond engineers’ ethics. Sci Eng Ethics 19(2013): 179-187.

Cite this Document:

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