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TitleProfessional Ethics
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Total Pages184
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Human Values
	1.0 Objectives
	1.1 Morals
	1.2 Values
	1.3 Ethics
	1.4 Integrity
	1.5 Work Ethics
	1.6 Service Learning
	1.7 Virtues
	1.8 Respect for Others
	1.9 Living Peacefully
	1.10 Caring
	1.11 Sharing
	1.12 Honesty
	1.13 Courage
	1.14 Valuing Time
	1.15 Cooperation
	1.16 Commitment
	1.17 Empathy
	1.18 Self-Confidence
	1.19 Challenges in the Work Place
	1.20 Spirituality
Chapter 2 Engineering Ethics
	2.0 Overview
	2.1 Senses of Engineering Ethics
	2.2 Variety of Moral Issues
	2.3 Types of Inquiries
	2.4 Moral Dilemma
	2.5 Moral Autonomy
	2.6 Moral Development (Theories)
	2.7 Consensus and Controversy
	2.8 Profession
	2.9 Models of Professional Roles
	2.10 Responsibility
	2.11 Theories about Right Action (Ethical theories)
	2.12 Self-Control
	2.13 Self-Interest
	2.14 Customs
	2.15. Religion
	2.16 Self-Respect
	2.17 Case Study: Choice of the Theory
Chapter 3 Engineering as Social Experimentation
	3.0 Engineering as Experimentation
	3.1 Engineers as Responsible Experimenters
	3.2 Codes of Ethics
	3.3 Industrial Standards
	3.4 A Balanced Outlook on Law
	3.5 Case Study: The Challenger
Chapter 4 Safety, Responsibilities and Rights
	4.0 Safety Definition
	4.1 Safety and Risk
	4.2 Risk Analysis
	4.3 Assessment of Safety and Risk
	4.4 Safe Exit
	4.5 Risk-Benefit Analysis
	4.6 Safety lessons from ‘the challenger’
	4.7 Case Study: Power Plants
	4.8 Collegiality and Loyalty
	4.9 Collective Bargaining
	4.10 Confidentiality
	4.11 Conflict of Interests
	4.12 Occupational Crime
	4.13 Human Rights
	4.14 Employee Rights
	4.15 Whistle Blowing
	4.16 Intellectual Property Rights
Chapter 5 Global Issues
	5.0 Globalization
	5.1 Multinational Corporations
	5.2 Environmental Ethics
	5.3 Computer Ethics
	5.4 Weapons Development
	5.5 Engineers as Managers
	5.6 Consulting Engineers
	5.7 Engineers as Expert Witness
	5.8 Engineers as Advisors in Planning and Policy Making
	5.9 Moral Leadership
	5.10 Codes of Ethics
	5.11 Engineering Council of India
	5.12 Codes of Ethics for TATA Group
	5.13 Ethics and Codes of Business Conduct in MNC
Case Studies
Question Bank Part-A
Question Bank Part-B
Questions and Answers-Beyond the Syllabus
Document Text Contents
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78 A Textbook on Professional Ethics and Human Values

(b) Bribe and Gift
The conflict arises when accepting large gifts from the suppliers. Bribe is different from a
gift. The following table shows a comparison of the nature of bribe and gift.

Table 4.2 How does bribe differ from gift?

Tests Bribe Gift

1. Timing Given before Given after

2. Cost of item Large amount Small amount, articles of daily


3. Quality of product Poor Good/High
4. Giver is a friend Yes No

5. Transparency Made in secret Made in open

6. Motive Expect undue favor Expect a favor or thanking for
the favor

7. Consequence on Damaging the goodwill No damage is involved
organization’s and reputation

Codes of ethics do not encourage even gifts, but employees have set forth flexible policies.
Government and company policies generally ban gifts more than a nominal value (>Rs.1000?)
An additional thumb rule is that the acceptance of gift should not influence one’s judgment
on merit.

(c) Moonlighting
It is a situation when a person is working as employee for two different companies in the
spare time. This is against the right to pursue one’s legitimate self-interest. It will lead to
conflict of interests, if the person works for competitors, suppliers or customers, while
working under an employer. Another effect of moonlighting is that it leaves the person
exhausted and harms the job performance in both places.

(d) Insider Information
Another potential conflict of interest is when using ‘inside’ information to establish a business
venture or get an advantage for oneself or one’s family or friends. The information may be
either of the parent company or its clients or its business partners, e.g., engineers might
inform the decision on the company’s merger with another company or acquisition or an
innovative strategy adopted. In such cases, their friends get information on stock holding
and decide on trading their stocks to sell or buy quickly, so that gain more or prevent a loss.
For example, in WorldCom USA, the insider information was used to manipulate and sell a
large amount of stock holding by the Director, upon knowing that the government has
declined to admit their product.


An occupational crime may be committed by (1) wrong actions of a person through one’s lawful
employment or (2) crime by an employee to promote ones own or employer’s interest or (3) theft or

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168 A Textbook on Professional Ethics and Human Values

and Health) was introduced in all RIL manufacturing sites. These resulted in prevention
of work-related diseases, injuries, reduction in absenteeism, and ultimately increase in
productivity level.

4. Unique Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP) have been created in collaboration with private
agencies to eradicate and contain the spread of conditions such as Tuberculosis and

5. Community medical centers provide comprehensive health care to all those affected by
diseases such as TB and HIV/AIDS. These are implemented through interventions like
counseling, education, training, social and nutritional support.

6. Discuss on the Engineer-Manager relationship.

Study 1

As per the study of Robert Jackall U.S.A. (1988), the gap between the engineers and managers is
prominent, especially where ethical issues are concerned. He found that managers had many
characteristics that did not respect the moral commitments of conscientious professionals.

1. They may have moral beliefs but they are to separate individual conscience from corporate
action. Managers prefer to think in terms of trade-offs between moral principles and

2. Loyalty to one’s peers and superiors is the primary virtue for managers. He is a team player,
the person who can accept a challenge and get the job done in a way that reflects favorably
upon himself and others.

3. The lines of responsibility are deliberately blurred to protect oneself, one’s peers, and one’s
superiors. Details are pushed down and credit is pushed up. Actions are separated from
consequences insofar as possible, so that responsibility can be avoided. A successful manager
gets many people involved, in making difficult and controversial decisions, so that he can
point his finger at others, if things go wrong. Protecting and covering for one’s boss, peers,
and one supersedes all other considerations.

For example, a professional engineer found that the equipments manufactured by his organization,
had problems, which he believed involved the safety and health of the public. He wrote a memo to his
boss, who replied that he did not need such a memo, and that the memo was not constructive. After the
professional was fired, another corporate official remarked that this engineer “was not a team player.”

This study showed the following characteristics of managerial decision making that are useful to
analyse the manager-engineer relationship:

(a) Managers have a strong (over-riding) concern for the well-being of the organization, in
terms of financial position, good public image and relatively conflict-free operations.

(b) Managers have few, if any, professional loyalties that transcend their perceived obligations
to the organization.

(c) The managerial decision-making involves making trade-offs among the relevant factors
relating to the well-being of the organization, such as cost, speed of delivery, scheduling,

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Questions and Answers—Beyond the Syllabus 169

marketing, and employee morale and welfare. Ethical consideration is one among them.

Managers tend not to take ethical consideration seriously, unless they can be translated into

factors such as the public image of the organization.

Study 2

The study funded by Hitachi Foundation (1990) indicated

1. The distinction between engineers and managers is not always clear in large organizations.

2. There was a difference in perspectives of the engineers and managers. The engineers had to
change their perspective to become good managers. The changes were identified as the
following elements:

(a) Engineers must pay less attention to engineering details.

(b) The engineers must develop a broader horizon to take account of non-engineering

(c) The engineers must focus on people rather than things.

3. Most of the engineers and managers agreed that the engineering considerationis should have
a priority in matters of safety and quality.

In summary, both conclusions seem to be valid. A paradigmatic representation of views of the
managers and engineers are given as follows:

Features Managerial Engineers
decision decision

1. Technical expertise Not needed Needed

2. Public safety Less important More important

3. Cost More important Less important
4. Quality Less important More important

5. Scheduling More important Less important

6. Speed of delivery More important Less important
7. Marketing More important Less important

8. Well-being of the organisation More important Less important

(financial soundness, good

public image, and conflict-free)
9. Ethical actions Less important More important

10. Trade-off some interests Yes No

11. Loyalty to peers and superiors Important Not important

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