Why Should My Conscience Bother Me? Business Ethics

Topics: Brake, Disc brake, Drum brake Pages: 2 (715 words) Published: September 20, 2005
To say that I was surprised by the content of this article would be a dramatic understatement. In a day an age when America is at war I was sad to see that a company would place the bottom line before the safety of American soldiers.

In 1967 the B.F. Goodrich Co. made a bid to produce four disk brakes for the LTV Aerospace Co. However, in order to receive the bid Goodrich had to submit an obscenely low figure (doing the job at a near loss). This was because nearly ten years earlier Goodrich had supplied faulty brakes to LTV and consequently had lost them as a customer. By providing a cheap, light-weight four disk brake for the airplane Goodrich hoped to win over LTV and regain their trust. While attempting to atone for their past mistake is an example of good business ethics, they did hope to profit from the venture. Although the initial job would be done with Goodrich losing money the upkeep of the airplanes would mean future business for replacement parts and it would allow Goodrich to have the inside track on all other future LTV projects, which would benefit the company greatly. The design for the brake was the brainchild of John Warren one of Goodrich's top engineers. However, upon initial test it was found that the brakes surface area was too small to stop a plane of that size safely. What resulted was the break heating up to over 1000 degrees and fusing together into one solid mass. Needless to say the brake was a total failure, and potentially dangerous for any pilot that would attempt to use them upon landing an aircraft. However, failure was not a reasonable option among the higher-ups of the company because assurances had been made that the brakes would work, and would be delivered on time. The events that transpired were free of any form of business ethics. From the top down test results were falsified and everyone involved was faced with the question, "Do I lie like they are asking me to, or do I want to find a new job?" Several people in this...
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