Conference on Engineering Ethics

by
American Society of Civil Engineers

American Society of Civil Engineers, New York, NY
978-0-87262-173-2 (ISBN-13) | 0-87262-173-1 (ISBN-10), 1976, Soft Cover, Pg. 118

Conference information: Conference on Engineering Ethics | Baltimore, Maryland, United States | May 18-19, 1975

Out of Print: Not available at ASCE Bookstore.


Document Type: Book - Proceedings

Abstract: This conference on engineering ethics was probably the first undertaken as a cooperative effort of a number of societies, if not the very first conference ever held dealing exclusively with problems of engineering ethics. Thus it was not expected to achieve absolute clarity. While ethics may be considered to be a set of rules, the concept of ethics must be understood to be an attribute of the individual. A group of people can adopt the same set of rules (a code), but adherence or nonadherence is strictly a matter of personal conscience. A group of peoples, bound together by a profession, can state that deviation from a commonly accepted set of rules will lead to exclusion from that group. Engineers encounter ethical demands in four general areas: (1)Toward colleagues; (2)toward their employer (business or government); (3)toward the client or customer; and (4)toward the public or the general society. The first, which may include the avoidance of plagiarism or unfair competition is fairly simply stated. While parts of codes of ethics dealing with this area are sometimes violated, they offer few problems. The other three areas, however, lead frequently and almost inherently to conflicts. In part, these conflicts arise from the fact that the responsibility of engineers to society at large (the public) and to the environment is only slowly being accepted. Thus, it is not surprising that several people working together will have different views regarding their responsibility to the public and the environment. It is to be expected that existing and even idealistic codes of ethics do not confront the conflicting demands of society or the public on the one hand and the employer or client on the other. undertaken as a cooperative effort of a number of societies, if not the very first conference ever held dealing exclusively with problems of engineering ethics. Thus it was not expected to achieve absolute clarity.

Subject Headings: Ethics | Standards and codes | Client relationships | Team building | Professional societies | Government | Dispute resolution

 

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