Options for Action When an
Engineering Ethics Threshold
In Chapter 1, we discussed our framework for ethical engineering decision
making, which is based on ethical theories we have learned, ethical behavior
we have observed, and engineering ethics codes. We advocate that engineers
use this framework, as well as three professional responsibilities, to guide
their professional behavior. These three responsibilities—concern for public
safety, technical competence, and timely communication of positive and nega-
tive results to management—are grounded in respecting others and keeping
We also discussed ethical engineering dilemmas that we may encounter at
work and asked each engineer to determine his or her personal engineering
ethics threshold for action. This threshold refers to the ethical dilemmas that
may occur at a workplace before an engineer is forced to an extreme action.
In Chapter 2, we discuss how to perform these extreme actions of leaving
the company or fighting for change.
Once an engineer reaches his or her ethics threshold, an obvious solution
is to leave.The ease with which a new job is found is affected by the economy.
If at all possible, the engineer should time the job search so his or her total
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