Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
There is a striking similarity between Kohlberg's model of moral development
and the model of professional growth in design fields. Avoiding punishment in
the moral development model is similar to the need to avoid problems early in
one's career. The preconventional level and early career experiences have similar
driving forces.
At the second level in the moral development model is a concern with peers
and community; in the professionalism model the engineer and architect must
balance the needs of clients and fellow professionals with those of society at
large. Design services and products must be of high quality and be profitable, but
the focus is shifting away from self-centeredness and personal well-being toward
external goals.
Finally, at the highest level of moral development a concern with universal
moral principles begins to govern actions; in the corporate model, fundamental
moral principles relate more to professionalism than to corporate decisions. The
driving force or motivation is trying to do the right thing on a moral (not legal
or financial) basis. These behaviors set the example for the entire profession, now
and in the future.
Professional growth is enhanced when designers and technical managers base
their decisions on sound business and engineering principles. Ethical content is
never an afterthought but is integrated within the business and design decision-
making process. That is, the design exemplars recognize the broad impacts that
their decisions may have, and they act such that their actions will be in the best
interest not only of themselves and the organization they represent, but also of
the broader society and even future generations.
Much of ethics training in the design fields to date has emphasized precon-
ventional thinking: that is, adherence to codes, laws, and regulations within the
milieu of profitability for the organization. This benefits the designer and or-
ganization but is only a step toward full professionalism, the type needed to
confront sustainability challenges. We who teach professional ethics must stay
focused on the engineer's principal client, “the public.” The engineer, archi-
tect, and other design professionals must navigate their professional codes. The
NSPE code, for example, reminds its members that “public health and welfare
are paramount considerations.” 20 Public safety and health, considerations affect
the design process directly. By definition, if engineers must “hold paramount”
the safety, health, and welfare of the public, this mandate has primacy over all the
others delineated in the code. So anything the professional engineer does cannot
violate this canon. No matter how competent, objective, honest, and faithful, the
engineer must not jeopardize public safety, health, or welfare. This is a challenge
for such a results-oriented profession, but it is a motivation to be green.
Almost every design now requires at least some attention to sustainability and
environmental impacts. As evidence, we discussed in the previous chapter, the
recent changes in drug delivery the move away from the use of greenhouse
Search WWH ::

Custom Search