Defining The Ethics And Social Responsibility Commerce Essay

Specifying Ethical motives and Social Responsibility ; defines moralss as an person ‘s perceptual experience of what is right or incorrect. It besides shows that moralss is a hard subject to see as moralss is non as clear to follow as the jurisprudence. For illustration a legal determination may non be an ethical one and besides every person may hold a different ethical mentality due to their up- delivery, environing and life experience. The subdivision besides follows on to discourse the importance of societal duty. Here it is found that an person should ever be cognizant of the consequence their actions may non merely have on their co-workers but besides on their community around them. It is besides discussed that an person or company should move in a mode which will assist society even if the jurisprudence does non command it. Case surveies were besides reviewed in this subdivision analyzing both good and bad illustrations of ethical behavior.

Critically reexamining Engineers Ireland Code of Ethical motives: Each of the four subdivisions of the codification was investigated and one clause from each of the subdivisions was critically reviewed. It was found from the reappraisal that the codification was of the extreme importance to Engineers and showed the duty an Engineer has to the safety of the populace, the environment in which they work and overall the behavior to which they are expected to carry on themselves in. Finally the consequence of non adhering to the codification of moralss was discussed demoing that a breach of this codification is taken earnestly and may take to a practising Engineer being found guilty of gross misconduct.

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Challenger Space Shuttle Catastrophe: This subdivision of the paper discusses the rival infinite shuttle catastrophe from the point of position of the technology profession and investigates that if a codification of moralss had of been adhered by the applied scientists involved could the calamity have been avoided. Here Engineer Irelands codification of moralss is applied to the cardinal issues raised in the instance survey which involved applied scientists. Overall it was shown that an attachment to the codification could hold prevented the catastrophe.

Finally the paper concludes that a good ethical codification and an consciousness of societal duty is of great importance to an Engineer as adhering to this codification means that an person can keep themselves to the highest possible criterion in any given state of affairs or action.

Ethical motives and Social Responsibility

Specifying Ethical motives

The Oxford Dictionary defines moralss as,

“ The basic constructs and cardinal rules of right human behavior. It includes survey of cosmopolitan values such as the indispensable equality of all work forces and adult females, human or natural rights, obeisance to the jurisprudence of land, concern for wellness and safety and, progressively, besides for the natural environment ” . [ Oxford,2011 ]

Ethical motives is discussed often and can be found in many intelligence articles when what is perceived to be an unethical determination has been reached by a state leader or authorities. It must be kept in head that when sing moralss as a subject, that a legal determination may non ever be an ethical one. In fact, the procedure of finding what an ethical determination is can be defined as a individuals or group of people ‘s perceptual experience of what is right or incorrect.

It must be remembered that moralss is non merely about discoursing the right thing to make but is really about doing the right determination and making the right thing.

Sing Social Duty

By and large talking, societal duty can be defined as depicted by Bailey and Myers ( 1997 ) as “ an illustration of ethical behavior and is about dealingss between persons or concerns and society ” .

The cardinal inquiries societal duty asks is to whom an person or concern is responsible and what this duty means in pattern?

If figure 1 is considered below, it demonstrates the key elements which make up a socially responsible individual or concern.

Social Responsibility

Socially Aware


Law Biding

Figure 1, demoing graphic of Social Responsibility

Harmonizing to this in writing a socially responsible person should obey the jurisprudence, be ethical and act as a good citizen by back uping the community.

Social Responsibility brings the significance of belief in an person ‘s answerability to communities which is the belief an person should take into history the societal, ethical, and environmental effects of one ‘s activities on their colleagues/staff and the community around them.

Social Responsibility is besides a committedness to better community wellbeing through discretional patterns and for concerns parts of corporate resources. The pattern of Social Responsibility depends upon the geographical country, industry and legal system and in consequence each state and company has its ain specificity.

Traditionally, Social Responsibility means a voluntary attack and goes beyond what is a necessity of the jurisprudence.

Ethical motives and Social Responsibility within Engineering

A Code of Ethics is particularly indispensable in the pattern of technology as it non merely deals with the moralss applied to the work topographic point, but transcends into the applied scientist ‘s personal morale every bit good.

Although applied scientists are chiefly problem-solvers who are chiefly concerned with the practicality and efficiency of their work, “ there is a turning demand for applied scientists to look at their ethical behavior and societal duty as discussed by Wueste ( 1994 ) ” . The demand for this is chiefly due to the widely publicized catastrophes such as the Space Shuttle Challenger detonation, the Hyatt Regency Hotel walkways prostration and the Turkish Airline DC-10 clang.

Such catastrophes have led to the public going progressively cognizant of the technological progresss made in recent times and the turning demand for a balance between these progresss and the public safety to be attained. When this balance is disrupted, and society is accordingly harmed, the struggle of who takes the duty arises and the applied scientist or their company ‘s duty needs to be examined.

In order to demo the importance and demand for moralss and societal duty within the technology subject two instance surveies will now be discussed, one of which shows how a hapless codification of moralss and being socially irresponsible can hold black effects and instead how utilizing a good codification of moralss responsibly can bring forth positive consequences.

Turkish Airline DC-10 Crash

This instance survey by Chris Kilroy describes an incident of a defective door locking device on the rear lading door of a Turkish airplane and is shown in Appendix 8.1. There were incidents of door failures prior to the clang which lead to 346 people losing their lives.

There were three cardinal people involved in the lead up to the clang, Dan Applegate who was the main merchandise applied scientist of the door lock system and his two immediate supervisors J.B. Hurt and M.C. Curtis. After the clang probe which highlighted the door latches as the cause of the incident these three work forces ‘s codification of moralss and societal duty were brought into inquiry.

It emerged that Applegate had written a memo to both of his direct higher-ups sing the safety of the aircraft. However both these work forces decided to disregard Applegate ‘s warnings of safety in instance that their company would be held apt for the fixs to all the aircraft and decided to seek and go through the ownership of duty to the proprietor of the aircraft.

This raised a cardinal ethical issue as to whether these work forces valued their companies ‘ net income border over the lives of riders of the plane. Another cardinal ethical issue arises with the main applied scientist as good. He was the one individual who had the expertness of cognizing how unsafe this defect was.

He did the right thing in advising his direct supervisors of the job. But when they took no farther action on the affair, was he ethically correct to travel along with the determination? Should his chief concern have been for the safety of the riders on the airplanes instead than trueness to the company for which he worked. This instance analyze high spots the demand for a clear codification of moralss and societal duty.

Johnson and Johnson

The instance survey shown in Appendix 8.2 by Richard C. Bayer inside informations the jobs faced by Johnson and Johnson because of their acetaminophen-based analgetic drug Tylenol. The merchandise was marketed with great passion and became a family name within a few old ages. In the early 1880ss, Tylenol was found to be contaminated with Cyanide.

During that same twelvemonth 7 people died due to these capsules. Johnson and Johnson when made aware of the state of affairs acted quickly. Even though findings showed that the deceases where localized Johnson and Johnson recalled all of its Tylenol capsules, which in sum summed to 31 million bottles worth an estimated 100 million dollars.

Here in contrast to the Turkish Airline DC-10 clang the company followed its ain “ creed ” , seting the duties to its consumers foremost, the duty to its staff 2nd and the duty to its stakeholders and net incomes last.

Two cardinal points can be taken from this instance survey ;

1 ) By moving with a good ethical codification and societal duty to its consumers Johnson and Johnson prevented more lives being lost.

2 ) By moving in the manner they did Johnson and Johnson gained the trust of their consumers and due to this, even though the loss suffered by the company at the clip was really significant they were able to retrieve rapidly from the crisis.

In 2004 Johnson and Johnson received an award for “ Excellence in Ethical Leadership ” for its long term relationships with its consumers, its employees and besides its stakeholders.

The contrasts in these two instances shown above prove that in industry errors in design can and will happen doing loss of life or monolithic disbursal. Having a good ethical codification in these state of affairss is critical so as the right picks are made and the right solutions are found in order to forestall or cut down the effect of the error.

Engineer Irelands Code of Ethical motives

As can be noted from the old subdivisions in this study practising a good codification of moralss is of the extreme importance when working as an applied scientist within a company. However a job arises due to different people holding wholly different moral or ethical positions, therefore making a instead abstract and equivocal position of good ethical behavior. It is hence necessary to clear up these rules, particularly in the workplace, hence, the debut to a Code of Ethics in a profession.

Within this subdivision of the study Engineers Ireland codification of moralss will be critically reviewed. This codification is divided into four subdivisions which are stated below ;

1 ) Relations with Colleagues, Clients, Employers and Society in general.

2 ) Environmental and Social Obligations.

3 ) Care and Development of Professional Conduct and Standards.

4 ) Enforcement Procedures and Disciplinary Action.

One facet of each of these four subdivisions will be critically reviewed to demo its importance when applied in industry.

Relationss with Colleagues, Clients, Employers and Society in General

This subdivision of the codification of moralss outlines the behavior and attitude expected of an Engineer sing the people they come into contact with when transporting out their responsibility.

Clause 1.9 within this subdivision as shown in Appendix 8.3.1 is a really of import clause as it deals with an Engineers duty in relation to affairs covering with the wellness and safety of the populace. This clause should be held by any Engineer as holding the extreme importance as nil is every bit valuable as the saving of a individual ‘s wellness or life. In the instance survey reviewed earlier on the Turkish Airline catastrophe, if any of the three work forces involved in that case would hold used this codification within their determination devising procedure the lives of 346 people may hold been saved.

Environmental and Social Duties

This subdivision of the codification highlights the demand for applied scientists to be cognizant of the possible impact their actions can hold on the environment and society.

If clause 2.1 within this subdivision is considered as shown in Appendix 8.3.2 this clause works really good with clause 1.9 antecedently analysed above. Within this clause there are three of import words which province “ public assistance of society ” which means an Engineer must non merely see the hazard to people involved with a undertaking but must besides take into history of the possible inauspicious consequence a undertaking can hold on the environment and society.

A instance survey which is relevant to this clause is the celebrated Aswan Dam in Egypt by shown in Appendix 8.4. Here the dike was built to make a new lake to keep back the summer inundation Waterss intending that husbandmans could works an excess harvest each twelvemonth. The dike was an technology success as it did precisely what it was designed to make.

However ethical inquiries arose into the success of the undertaking over the societal and environment impact the dike created. Now husbandmans which originally relied on the silt from the inundation H2O to fertilise the land were now utilizing huge sums of fertiliser. The population of the fish which lived in the river were greatly reduced due to the break caused by the dike and besides the pollution caused by the fertilisers being applied to the land. This in bend had a societal impact on the people populating downstream of the dike who relied on the fish for nutrient.

This shows the importance of taking clause 2.1 earnestly and foreground the demand of applied scientists to be cognizant of the impact undertakings can hold on the environment and society straight and indirectly involved.

Care and Development of Professional Conduct and Standards.

This subdivision of the codification outlines how an Engineer is expected to act with respects to their unity, honestness and professional behavior.

Clause 3.3 as shown in Appendix 8.3.3 discusses the importance of competence and of an Engineer being cognizant of the degree to which their making is equal. An Engineer should ever maintain in head that if they are diffident about a peculiar proficient affair that they have a responsible attitude to confer with with a specializer in that field or with person who has more experience. This clause once more can be tied into the other two clauses antecedently discussed as an Engineer willing to do a determination with a cognizing deficiency of cognition in a peculiar field may be moving in an irresponsible mode doing unneeded hazard to both people ‘s lives and inauspicious hazard to the environment.

Enforcement Procedures and Disciplinary Action.

This subdivision of Engineer Irelands codification of moralss discusses how their codification of moralss should be upheld and what the effect of a breach in the codification means.

Clause 4.2 for illustration shown in Appendix 8.3.4 outlines the function of “ the moralss board ” in a state of affairs where the codification of moralss has been breached. It outlines how a member which is accused of transgressing the codification has rights to a just hearing and that any determination made will be reasonably adjudicated. This subdivision of the codification of moralss is of import as it shows that the codification is non merely a guideline for Engineers to be cognizant of but that it must be adhered to and a breach of the codification will hold serious deductions of a hereafter within the Engineering fraternity.

Section 3 Challenger Space Shuttle Disaster

The Challenger Space Shuttle catastrophe describes a instance survey where a infinite bird explodes merely over a minute into flight due to a faulty seal between the projectile supporter sections. There were cardinal societal and political force per unit areas involved in the determination to establish the projectile and after the catastrophe inquiries arose to whether the calamity could hold been averted if an Engineering codification of moralss had have been adhered to. This subdivision of this paper will look into the importance of moralss within the technology profession with mention to this instance.

Issue 1

The first issue raised by this instance survey was the willingness of the top degree directors such as Bob Lund who was the frailty president of technology for Thiokol to travel against the determinations of his subsidiary applied scientists who had custodies on experience and cognition of the issue. This point calls into inquiry the moralss of these directors to travel against their ain technology experience and that of their practicing applied scientists due to coerce being applied to them from the NASA co-operation.

If subdivision 3 of Engineers Ireland codification of moralss is referred to as discussed in subdivision 4.3 an Engineer which needs to do a determination on a proficient affair must be certain of their competence to do such a determination. In this case the practicing applied scientists had the expertness and competence to do the right determination and by the pull offing applied scientists determination to over- regulation them broke the ethical codification to which he should hold be adhering to.

Issue 2

The 2nd issue raised by the instance survey was that directors encouraged the launch due to a deficiency of informations related to seal public presentation at low temperature. This showed the willingness of the directors to do determinations with a deficiency of the relevant information needed. This same manner of thought can be besides found of the top degree direction of NASA who had been alerted to the design mistakes in the supporter design but did non hold the plan until the job was investigated exhaustively and solved. Again this broke the ethical codification described in subdivision 4.3 of this paper as once more direction were doing determinations in an irresponsible mode. In some cases particularly within the NASA co-operation it seemed that determinations that were being made were for the good of the operation disregarding the safety of their crew.

Issue 3

The 3rd issue raised by this instance survey calls into inquiry the codification of moralss discussed in subdivision 4.1 of this paper which is an applied scientist ‘s duty to society to protect the populace ‘s safety. There were at least three senior applied scientists present at the teleconferencing with NASA functionaries who had the power to halt the launch of the infinite bird but failed in their responsibility to make so.

Bob Lund who was the Vice President of technology with Thiokol on the dark of the teleconferencing with NASA reversed his old determination on the issue with the seals and voted for the bird to launch.

L.H. Sayer manager of technology design did non challenge the determination to establish the infinite bird at the teleconferencing with NASA even though aware of the job with the seals. He was quoted as subsequently stating that he should hold done more to forestall the launch.

Jack Kapp Engineering Supervisor who had co-signed a memo alarming the jobs with the seals a twelvemonth old to the launch remained soundless throughout the teleconferencing with NASA and once more did non challenge the determination to give the spell in front to NASA to establish the infinite bird.

It was due to the force per unit area put frontward by the Thiokol general director and the functionaries at NASA that caused these senior applied scientists to travel against the strong expostulations of their low-level applied scientists such as Roger Boisjoly who was inexorable that the flight should be cancelled.

Even though Engineers can be put under force per unit area to do determinations in order to run into deadlines all codifications of moralss for applied scientists remind them that their duty to maintain the public safe should be at the top of their precedence list. Although company trueness is of import to applied scientists it should non be allowed to take precedency over public safety.

Issue 4

The concluding issue raised is once more the codification of moralss discussed in subdivision 4.1 of this paper which is an applied scientist ‘s duty to society to protect the populace ‘s safety. However this clip it looks at the practising applied scientists at Thiokol who raised their concerns repeatedly over a period of two old ages with respects to the faulty seals.

Should these work forces have taken their concerns to a higher degree as they knew that people ‘s lives were being put at hazard such as stated in subdivision 4.1 of this paper. At the clip there was a term known as the “ organisation adult male ” as referred to by Vandekerckhove ( 2006 ) “ which required employers to hold an undivided trueness to their employers ” . The applied scientists in inquiry such as Roger Boisjoly may non hold felt that the jurisprudence would hold protected them if they had of came frontward to the appropriate governments with the information which they had.

After the catastrophe Roger Boisjoly made the investigation functionaries clear of what had went on subsequent to the detonation. Upon recognizing those warnings given by the practicing applied scientists at Thiokol could hold prevented the calamity, American Congress decided to protect “ whistle blowers ” . If the applied scientists had assurance in the jurisprudence ‘s protection, possibly they would hold pursued their ailments further. This jurisprudence became known as “ the whistle blower protection act of 1989 ” .

From using Engineers Irelands codification of moralss to any of the cardinal issues affecting the applied scientists raised in this instance analyze it can be found that if they had adhered to a codification of ethical behavior the catastrophe may hold been averted and the lives of the seven spacemans involved may hold been saved.


In decision, doing determinations is a complex procedure particularly when moralss becomes an issue. Decision-making can be systematic affair of sing fact nevertheless, when ethical issues originate the determination doing process becomes more complex as so an single perceptual experience of right or incorrect will impact the result.

Managing ethical quandary and doing ethical determinations are of import parts of being a professional. As in technology, the determinations that are made will hold a direct consequence on society as discussed earlier and therefore it is of import that a high ethical criterion be maintained. In the pattern of the profession, it is up to the applied scientist to adhere to high rules of ethical behavior on behalf of the populace, clients and employers, and the profession.

It is concluded from this paper that these determinations and criterions can be maintained systematically by adhering to a codification of moralss such as Engineers Ireland codification of moralss antecedently discussed.

In all of the instance surveies shown in this paper where a hapless ethical codification was followed it was shown that the effects of the determinations made in these cases had annihilating effects. This underlined the demand to develop consciousness of these ethical codifications that will finally take to extenuation or bar of ethical quandary.


Bailey A, Myers A, An apprehension of concern Ethical motives, Journal of Business Ethics, 1997, Springer.

Vandekerckhove Wim, Whistleblowing and organisational societal duty, 2006, Ashgate,, citied 25/04/2011.

Wueste, Daniel E. Professional moralss and societal duty, 1994, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, United States of America. citied 24/04/2011


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