Ethical Dilemmas in Engineering

Ethical Dilemmas in Engineering

Engineers continually engage in innovative processes by making use of valuable intuitive imaginations as well as strong background knowledge. Engineers are actively involved in finding solutions to the problems that affect the members of the community through creative invention and innovation. Ethical behavior in engineering helps engineers to maintain acceptable behavior as they carry out their activities. Code of ethics in engineering helps engineers to make various decisions that may confront them while making their operational decisions as explained by Kreiner, Flores & Krishnamurthy (256). However, despite the fact that the code of ethics helps engineers to make acceptable and valuable decisions in their operations, there are various circumstances that limit their ability to make firm decisions since every choice would lead to a significant set of consequences and which may have various impacts on the lives of the members of the society (Harris et al., 176). A number of ethical dilemmas face both the firm that bids to construct the southern wall as well as the individuals and engineers who will be involved in the construction.

To start with, the firm is likely to face a dilemma between maintaining its public image or taking up the contract. The proposal of the wall construction has been opposed by many people across the world whereby they claim that it would be an immoral and unethical decision to lock put any innocent people who may want to use the southern border to gain entry into the U.S. for purposes of safety or even to look for better economic opportunities as discussed by Tholen (264). By taking up the opportunity and involving itself in the construction of the wall, the company will have tarnished its name and image among the many individuals who oppose the same construction. According to the utilitarianism model, any best action should be one that only benefits most people in a population and causes harm to just a few individuals (Whitbeck, 275). The construction of the wall has been named to be a significant disadvantage to a large population.

The individual employees who may be required to participate in the bidding process and engineering project also face some ethical dilemmas. While some may be entirely against such a construction, they may be faced by a dilemma on whether to take the opportunity as if would help them to make income and thus enhance their ability to satisfy their needs. According to Martin & Schinzinger (172), individuals involved in engineering projects that consequently affected people or the environment are highly criticized and the individuals participating in the construction of the wall may be faced with the dilemma of whether they should be really involved in such an activity that is going to affect some part of the global community adversely.

The bidding process potentially violates the professional code of engineering ethics which states promote such principles as commitment to something greater than oneself as well as caring for other livings and environment as a whole (Veach 99). By disregarding the effect that the construction of such a wall is likely to have on other people, the participants of the construction process fail to adhere and observe the values emphasized by the code. Considering that the debate over the construction of the wall has gained popularity over the last few years and many people have opposed the project based on the negative impacts that it potentially holds to the innocent immigrants, any participants in the project should also bear such arguments in mind and understand that any engineering processes and projects are supposed to make the lives of humans better and not worse.

In order to resolve such dilemmas faced by both the firm and the stakeholders in the construction process, the best solution would be to refrain from the construction project as it would pose a threat to the entry of innocent immigrants who may be in need of safety and better economic opportunities as available in the US. Otherwise, a better plan of controlling harmful immigration that is commonly characterized by the entry of drugs and other harmful products such as guns should be implemented rather than constructing a non-selective wall.


Works Cited

Harris Jr, C. E., Pritchard, M. S., Rabins, M. J., James, R., & Englehardt, E. (2013). Engineering ethics: Concepts and cases. Cengage Learning.

Kreiner, J., Flores, A., & Krishnamurthy, S. (2004). Ethical issues facing engineers and their profession. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering Education and Research “Progress Through Partnership”. VSB-TUO.

Martin, M., & Schinzinger, R. (1996). Engineering ethics.

Tholen, B. (2010). The changing border: developments and risks in border control management of Western countries. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 76(2), 259-278.

Veach, C. M. (2006). There’s no such thing as engineering ethics. Leadership and management in engineering, 6(3), 97-101.

Whitbeck, C. (2011). Ethics in engineering practice and research. Cambridge University Press.