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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Engineering Business Cases

Case studies on ethics in the business of engineering

  • To Ship or Not to Ship

    A quality assurance engineer must decide whether or not to ship products that might be defective.

  • Time-Sharing Space

    An intern at a power electronics startup faces unkind comments from a fellow engineer. She suspects that her colleague is prejudice toward female engineers.

  • Apathy over Anonymity

    A bioengineering researcher discovers an error in protocol and feels pressured not to report it to her supervisor.

  • Copyright Concerns

    A computer startup company risks violating copyright laws if it reuses a code that is the intellectual property of another company.

  • Off the Clock

    A recently promoted manager at an industrial engineering company discovers that factory workers are asked to work more than eight hours a day without getting paid overtime.

  • Misinterpretation Mishap

    Full transparency might prevent a project leader from closing a deal with a valuable client. Should he still clarify the situation to his client?

  • Disclosure Dilemma

    A manager at a consumer electronics company struggles over whether or not he should disclose confidential information to a valued customer.

  • Trimming Data

    A medical researcher is asked to trim data before presenting it to the scientific advisory board.

  • Going Public

    A technical sales engineer feels pressure to falsify a sales report in order to prevent the delay of her company's IPO.

  • A Breach in Security

    When a computer filled with personal data gets stolen, a data company must decide how to manage the breach in security.