In the movie Henry’s Daughters, there are many ethical issues that are responsible for the decisions that the characters make, whether good or bad. Ethical issues are an integral part of making a decision in any professional field, but especially engineering because many engineering designs can endanger people’s lives if they fail. In engineering sometimes making the ethical decision goes beyond the job description, sometimes it means actively fighting for what you know is right. In the movie there are conflicting interests. There is the issue of political elections.
For the senator, the support of some depends on certain business decisions. It is a mutually beneficial relationship, everyone wins that is supporting each other, but all others that are not involved lose. This is especially true for the support from business’s or people of high stature. There is also the issue of Henry’s client GUIDEME. Henry can stand to make a lot of money if GUIDEME wins the competition and therefore he has an inherent interest in having them win the competition. However, Henry does not directly decide who gets the grant.
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Additionally, Henry deals with the ethical dilemma of whether to support his family or his company. Lastly, Henry has to face the ethical dilemma of whether to plead guilty or innocent when the schism finally gets brought to the forefront. Henry’s Daughter Laura also has conflicts. Laura is a third party evaluating which project is better. Therefore, she is supposed to be impartial; however, it is difficult when the two parties involved are her father and her younger sister. She has to consider whether to ruin the life of her father or make the ethical decision.
Lastly, Henry’s youngest daughter has to deal with issues of sexuality in the workplace. Also there is a side issue of her work not being referenced in Barry’s submission for his PhD thesis. Also there is the issue of government using technology to encroach on people’s privacy. The most crucial ethical issue or decision rather, I believe to be Henry admitting his role in the conflict. By him admitting that he was wrong it also helped put others people involved into the limelight. Regardless of whether he admitted it he probably would have gotten some sort of punishment, but in this case actions speak louder than words.
The most important ethical decision is the decision to claim responsibility. The next most important issue would be how Laura deals with the situation as a third party evaluator. If she had not initiated the investigation it never would have been addressed and everything would have gone according to plan. As an outside observer it is an engineer’s responsibility to report anything he/she believe to be unethical. The second most important ethical decision in this case is to hold others responsible. The political issue also plays a large role.
The backdoor politics in the movie, while being unethical, isn’t necessarily an ethical decision so much as it is the cause of facilitator of the unethical decisions. The underlying and less important ethical issues would be sexuality in the workplace and Julie’s work not being cited. The reason that they are not as important is because they are individual cases and they are not affecting more than two people. Lastly the government encroaching on privacy is not that big of an issue because it is hypothetical and unsure It is unfortunate about the way that is turned out for Henry.
He didn’t even make the unethical decision, the commissioner did. Henry’s unethical conduct in the movie is very unintentional. He simply was trying to create a mutually beneficial opportunity. However, by creating a rigged competition, he made the opportunity unethical. Henry faces the issue of whether to support the senator and receive support in return, whether to support one of his clients, support his daughters, and whether to confess. He has to consider whether the rigged competition with ever be unearthed, in this movie it was. He also has to consider whether to support his daughters.
That, however, could also be unethical in the sense that he might favor his family. Also, in many companies competitions such as the one that Henry was involved with would be considered a conflict of interest of sorts. After his daughter Laura confronted Henry he also had the choice of whether to deny her allegations or to confess. As seen in the movie he confesses and he going further he even gives her his diary which documents the involvement of other guilty parties. Henry does not really have someone to seek guidance from; I think that the most important person for Henry to turn to is himself.
Laura faces the issue of whether to expose her dad or to make the right decision. As an engineer it is her responsibility to report anything she sees others do, or does herself which would be considered unethical. Similar to her father, she also has to deal with the dilemma of family. Different from her father though, she has to choose between two family members rather than family members and political parties and companies. The two decisions are very different because she is choosing from two options in the same category.
For this reason, it makes her decision much more based on what is right than what is beneficial. I’m sure, that is Laura could change any decision it would probably her father’s involvement. While she did the right thing, it was most likely very difficult for her to make that decision and cause those penalties for her father. To fix this, Laura would change the decision to award the grant to Julie’s team. Although her father was involved, the best place for Laura to seek guidance from is her father. Julie doesn’t necessarily face ethical decisions, rather, she is the victim of unethical decisions.
She has to deal with sexuality in the workplace, having her work not cited, and lastly having her project not being selected for the grant, which was questionably unethical. I don’t think that there really was any decisions for Julie to change because she really didn’t make many, however, if she had to change something I’m sure it would be the decision for the grant. The best person for Julie to seek guidance from would be her older sister Laura. The most important aspect of creating company culture is having joint experiences. I would improve the company culture by going on fun trips or activities that everyone can get involved in. lso I might create some sort of friendly competition, that is why company softball leagues are so popular. I would make sure that everyone was involved and no one is excluded from decisions. The company policies would simply be something that is an integral part of training, and reinforces regularly for them as employees. It would be very easy to communicate the company policies. They would be on display at the office, in the factors, on the website, and in the company’s advertisements. Being open about policies makes them very easy to follow and consequently just as easy to enforce