Ken Martin is an engineer with a multinational aerospace firm that produces a jet engine that is widely used by airplane manufacturers. Ken recently became aware of a potential defect in an engine part. As the lead engineer responsible for the component part, Ken directed that tests be performed to ascertain the conditions under which the part might fail. The results of the tests indicate that at low temperatures a critical seal may crack, possibly allowing fluids to leak into other portions of the engine. Although the risks of such a leak are very low, the consequences are potentially disastrous.

A. Define the problem facing Ken Martin.
B. What are some of the objectives that Ken might identify when dealing with this dilemma?
C. What options are available to Ken?
D. Who are the stakeholders impacted by Ken’s decision?
E. Does the company have an ethical responsibility to fix the component part?
F. Should the company consider the estimated cost of fixing the component part in its decision-making process? Why or why not?
G. What risks are involved in this scenario? Who bears these risks?
H. Does the company have a responsibility to “manage” risks for others (e.g., company stockholders, airline companies, and passengers) who may not be aware that such risks even exist?

  • CreatedMarch 11, 2015
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