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Corporate engineering ethics

Research by the University of Illinois provides an up-to-date interpretation of a delicate issue of manufacturing organisation

 

Ethics also in calculations. And also in businesses. These goals are certainly difficult to achieve, but they are not impossible. And they are especially necessary at a time when faced with the digitisation of the economy and of production, the meaning of a company’s social responsibility becomes stronger, accompanied by a more aware production culture. And all this without forgetting the albeit important role of the organisation as a production engine.

These are the topics at the heart of the article by Amir Hedayati Mehdiabadi and Jessica Li (from the University of Illinois Urbana, Champaign) which was recently published in Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Management.The research entitled “Toward a framework for developing computing professional ethics: a review of literature” is a reconnaissance of the theory and literature on the role, ethics and functions within companies of professions dedicated to computing. And it is a good knowledge-base better to understand the importance of these issues but also the necessary “counterweight” in terms of management which should exist within companies.

The “engineers” – this is the basic idea of Amir Hedayati Mehdiabadi and Jessica Li -, play important roles in modern-day organisations which operate in the knowledge economy (and beyond). Having said this, the authors state that professionals in the computing industry may have a significant influence on modern societies due to the prevalent use of computer-based information and technologies. Hence the emphasis on the importance of their “ethical development”.

The article, through an analysis of existing scientific literature, reviews the history, the theories and the approaches to ethics in professional development, and then provides a critical evaluation of the current state of knowledge on ethics and ethical education in professional development within companies and, last but not least, it outlines a framework for what is defined as “ethical education in professional development”. As if to say: computing  certainly, but only to a certain extent.

The article by Amir Hedayati Mehdiabadi and Jessica Li does not add any particularly significant news on the topic of business ethics and computing, but it does clearly outline the state of the art of a complex topic, which must however be understood with certainty within the context of the modern way of doing business.

Toward a framework for developing computing professional ethics: a review of literature

Amir Hedayati Mehdiabadi, Jessica Li

Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Management ,2017 International Annual Conference E-H. Ng, B. Nepal, and E. Schott eds.