This Case Study is extracted from Texas A&M University, as part of:
TEACHING ENGINEERING ETHICS A CASE STUDY APPROACH
Michael S. Pritchard Editor
CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF ETHICS IN SOCIETY
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Copyright 1992: Center for the Study of Ethics in Society
National Science Foundation Grant No. DIR-8820837
Dan Dorset had been looking forward to this trip for weeks. Once he was assigned to help Rancott install its equipment for Boulding, Inc., he arranged his vacation at a nearby ski resort. The installation would be completed on the 12th, and his vacation would begin on the 13th--a full week of skiing with three of his old college buddies.
Unfortunately, not all of Rancott's equipment arrived on time. Eight of the ten identical units were installed by mid-morning on the 12th. Even if the remaining two units had arrived that morning, it would have taken another full day to install them. However, Dan was informed that it might take as long as two more days for the units to arrive.
"Terrific," Dan sighed, "there goes my vacation--and all the money I put down for the condo."
"No problem," replied Boulding engineer, Jerry Taft. Jerry had worked side-by-side with Dan as each of the first eight units was installed. "I can handle this for you. We did the first eight together. It's silly for you to have to hang around and blow your vacation." Jerry knew why Rancott had sent Dan to supervise the installation of his firm's new equipment. Rancott's equipment had to be properly installed in order to avoid risking serious injuries to those who use the equipment. For years Rancott trusted its clients to follow the carefully stated directions for installation. But several recent accidents were directly traceable to failure to follow proper installation procedures. It was now Rancott's policy to send one of its engineers to supervise all installations.
Dan was confident that Jerry was as fully capable as he to supervise the installation of the remaining two units. What should Dan do?
1. Decline Jerry's offer and stay until the job is complete.
2. Call Rancott's home office and ask if it is alright to let Jerry take care of the last two units.
3. Accept Jerry's offer, and leave for his vacation.
Worksheet (to print)