5 pages/≈1375 words
Literature & Language
Engineering Ethics (Annotated Bibliography Sample)
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Annotated Bibliography: Engineering Ethics
Geistauts G., Baker E & Eschenbach T. (2008). Engineering ethics: A system dynamics approach. Engineering Management Journal, 20(3): 21-28
Engineering projects are executed within complex social economic, legal, cultural and technological systems. The implication is that engineers are expected to find solutions not only for technical design problems but also to meet the expectations and norms which may otherwise be inconsistent with each other. In this study, the authors note that inconsistency in these expectations and norms may prompt engineers to engage in illegal or unethical behaviour. Both at a professional and individual level, values sets are constantly evolving as responses to short-term and long-term environmental forces. In line with this argument, the authors suggest that at any given level, engineering ethics “...can usefully be understood and modelled as systems phenomena.” (p. 21). Integrity is seen as one of the major ethical considerations in engineering profession and encompasses issues such as competence, use of the appropriate means to attract potential customers, fair competition, and proper resolution of conflicts, and avoiding to engage oneself in immoral or inappropriate application of one’s skills. In presenting a model of factors that shapes engineering ethics at the professional level, the authors advance the assumption that exceptionally high level of ethics are desirable with the main aim being to increase or maintain such level. In this context, ethics level is seen as the central variable and any casual loop between the factors is best described in terms of their effect on the central variable. Among the forces/factors that have direct impact on the central variable include public sector performance pressures, intensity of business competition, business ethics level, professionalism of engineering practice, economic rewards, and the rule of law (pp. 24-25). The authors conclude by recognizing that adopting a systems perspective may help managers and engineers to understand the underlying convolution of ethics structures, help in designing policies and procedures, help in improving engineering curricula, and help in identifying potential interventions points.
The article was written by Geistauts George and Baker Elisha both of whom are from the University of Alaska Anchorage and Eschenbach Ted, a PE at TGE consulting. The main objective of this scholarly article was to explicate how engineering ethics can be understood from a systems’ perspective. The main audience of this article are managers and engineering professionals as can be depicted from the conclusion section where the author states that “there is often a managerial tendency to visualize simplistic relationships between managerial directives or actions and desired outcomes” (p. 27). The tone of the article is professional, informative and scholarly in that it cites the work of other scholars in developing its main arguments. For example, in quoting Cavana and Mares 2004, the authors notes that critical thinking is employed in construction of “policy arguments’’ (p. 21) which by extension can be modelled with the help of system dynamics and casual loop diagrams.
As is the case with scholarly journal articles, this article features include an abstract, an introduction, literature review, discussion and conclusion section. The study adopted a qualitative descriptive approach where the authors relied on existing secondary sources to form a basis for their model. It is worth noting that the field of engineering may use either qualitative or quantitative methods depending on the subject matter of the issue being examined. This journal article was published in Engineering Ma...
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