Ethical Problems

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Lawson, Vandivier, and Gretzinger all knew that wrong was being done and made efforts to stop it. Yet in the end they participated in the wrongdoing. Why did they not keep up their initially good efforts to stop the wrongdoing? Why did they go over, so to speak, to the darkside? In the Goodrich case we can see how an ethical issue can be poorly managed inside a big corporation, despite the good reputation that its engineers and workers have. This case also illustrates how teams and, specifically, companies with a clear hierarchy, manage ethical problems by diluting responsibilities within each stratum of the organization. Goodrich showed us that despite that Lawson, Vandivier and Gretzinger knew that something was not well calculated, and well designed, they preferred to continue raising this project to their superior managers without signing any paper that incriminated them. They did that in order to dilute their responsibilities among the other workers. “…many within the organization acted to create that they themselves were not implicated in that failure, making the failure more likely and eventually certain”. So they knew that if they acted as if they didn’t know, it would cause a smaller sanction for them than if they would have fought for their beliefs. So basically, when an ethical issue appears, incentives also play a role in human behavior. And, in my opinion, that was the main reason because they didn’t make a greater effort in order to stop something that inevitably was going to fail.
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