Engineering Ethics: Balancing Cost, Schedule, and Risk - Lessons Learned from the Space Shuttle

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How do engineers respond to ethical dilemmas that occur in practice? How do they view their individual and collective responsibilities? How do they make decisions before all the facts are in? Using the space shuttle programme as the framework, this book examines the role of ethical decision making in the practice of engineering. In particular, the book considers the design and development of the main engines of the space shuttle as a paradigm for how individual engineers perceive, articulate, and resolve ethical dilemmas in a large, complex organisation. A series of in-depth case studies show engineers at work on various stages of the project as they balance budgets, deadlines and risks. By documenting the historical development of a single system, the book provides a unique opportunity to explore the complex interactions between political, organisational and technical pressures and engineering and management decisions.