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Engineering Ethics and

Professional Conduct
Lesson 1
INTRODUCTION

DEFINITION
Engineering ethics is the field of applied
ethics and system of moral principles that
apply to the practice of engineering. The
field examines and sets the obligations by
engineers to society, to their clients, and to
the profession. As a scholarly discipline, it
is closely related to subjects such as the
philosophy of science, the philosophy of
engineering, and the ethics of technology.
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Engineering ethics .
The study of the moral issues and
decisions confronting individuals and
organizations engaged in engineering
The study of related questions about
the moral ideals, character, policies,
and relationships of people and
corporations involved in technological
activity.
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Definition of Ethics

A set of moral values and principles which


form the standards guiding the code of
conduct of individuals, organizations and
professions.
Ethics refers to standards of conduct . . .
that indicate how one should behave based
on principles of right and wrong. As a
practical matter, ethics is about how we
meet the challenge of doing the right thing
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Definition of Ethics .

Ethics deals with what we believe to be


good or bad and with the moral
obligations that these beliefs imply.
Ethics involves the rules for deciding
right and wrong, and the code of conduct
that is based on our decisions.
Conduct is the manner in which a person
behaves

What is a professional?
Possesses specialized knowledge
and skills
Belongs to and abides by the
standards of a society
Serves an important aspect of the
public good

Professional ethics
is usually connected to a shared
understanding of proper conduct
guidelines among a group of people
associated by means of their
profession;
Allows diverse, multidisciplinary, and
multicultural teams to work in unison
toward common goals.
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Why do Engineers need to know about Ethics?.

With knowledge & skills, engineers have


the capability to do services to the public.
With this capability, engineers have a
tremendous responsibility to clients,
individuals and society.
Ethics help engineers to guide their
decisions to ensure they act responsibly.
As occupations become more specialized,
the ethical issues become more specialized
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Basic Ethical Concepts

Ethical
considerations
are
an
integral part of making engineering
decisions.
The professional obligations of
engineers go beyond fulfilling a
contract with a client or customer.
Codes of ethics can provide
guidance in the decision-making
process.
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Basic Ethical Concepts

Ethical obligations do not stop at any


countrys border; they are global.
Wherever engineers practice, they
should hold paramount the health, safety,
and welfare of the public.
How an engineer fulfills those
obligations may depend on the social
and economic context of engineering
practice.
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Code of Ethics
Express the rights, duties, and obligations of the
members of the profession.
Provides framework for arriving at good ethical choices.
May not be comprehensive, but all inclusive.
Codes of ethics are written by specific groups of people
for specific groups of people, each group having its
own purpose for existence and its own means of
accomplishing its purpose.
Codes of ethics are to be reflections of the morally
permissible standards of conduct which members of a
group make binding upon themselves.

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Code of Ethics
Your code of ethics defines your responsibilities to
society and the environment, your employer or client,
and your fellow engineers.
Governments - federal, state, and local - impose added
responsibilities on engineers through administrative
rules and regulations, and civil and criminal codes.
Strictly speaking, morality is used to refer to what we
would call moral conduct while ethics is used to refer to
the formal study of moral conduct.
Ethics is also often called moral philosophy.

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Guidelines for Professional Conduct


Achieving an ethical professional career is a journey,
not a destination. Your understanding of ethical
behavior will change with time, experience, and
discussion with others who have set out to take a
similar journey. Only when you decide on a lifetime of
learning about and discussing ethical behavior with
others, can you hope to complete the journey
successfully.

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Guidelines for Professional Conduct


The responsibility borne by employers and senior
members of the profession to set standards of ethical
behavior in their own lives cannot be overstated. It is
the responsibility of people in positions of authority
and seniority to make their peers and colleagues aware
of the need to read the code of ethics often. Further,
these mentoring members have an ethical responsibility
to model behaviors that others may learn from and to
raise questions and engage their peers and colleagues
in discussing ethical issues.

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Important Terms in Professional Conduct


Bribe: A gift or favor, given or promised, with the intent to
influence the judgment or conduct of another.
Confidential or Proprietary Information: Information that is
the property of the employer, which the employer has the
right to make available to or withhold from others within the
firm or the general public, as he or she alone deems
appropriate (such as lists or other information concerning
an employers clients, suppliers, personnel, or
shareholders; competitive business strategies and plans;
and special methods of operation). Annual reports,
quarterly reports, and annual or other periodic filings that
are considered public information once they are filed and
press releases issued by the employer are not confidential
or proprietary information.
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Important Terms in Professional Conduct..


Conflict of Interest: A conflict of interest is any activity,
transaction, relationship, service, or consideration that
is, or appears to be, contrary to the individuals
professional responsibilities or in which the interests of
the individual have the potential to be placed above
his/her professional responsibilities.
Family Members: Family members include a spouse,
children, parents, siblings, grandparents, in-laws, or
any other person sharing the same home or otherwise
in a close familial relationship with the business.7

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Important Terms in Professional Conduct..


Harassment : Harassment is any unwelcome and
offensive verbal or physical conduct of one person
toward another based on race, religion, gender, sexual
orientation, or any other characteristic protected by law
that has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile work
environment; interferes with the individuals work
performance; or otherwise affects or harms an
individuals employment opportunities.
Kickback: The illegal giving back of a portion of a
payment received for work or services as a means of
obtaining or otherwise influencing the judgment or
actions of another, or with the expectation of receiving
special treatment not afforded to all.
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Important Terms in Professional Conduct..


Outside Employment: Providing work or services for
pay for an employer, including yourself, who is not
your normal full-time employer.

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