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Business Ethics Case Study

1341 words - 5 pages

1. The Facts: Kermit Vandivier works for B.F. Goodrich. His job assignment was to write the qualifying report on the four disk brakes for LTV Aerospace Corporation. LTV purchased aircraft brakes from B.F. Goodrich for the Air Force. Goodrich desperately wanted the contract because it guaranteed a commitment from the Air Force on future brake purchases for the A7D from them, even if they lost money on the initial contract.
John Warren is a seven-year senior project engineer with Goodrich was directly in charge of the original computations for the brake and the preliminary design. While using Warren’s design, it was Searle Lawson’s job to run the preliminary test for stopping 51 times. Lawson found that high temperatures increased the collapse of the brake linings before the required 51 consecutive stops. After reviewing Warren’s original design, he discovered the problem with the size of the brakes. With his discovery, he forwards the information to Warren who rejected the notion of a possible flaw in his design. Warren’s ego will not allow him to admit to the miscalculations in his design and having a graduate discovering the flaw would make him look bad in front of Goodrich. Lawson decided to surpass Warren’s authority and go directly to supervisor Robert Sink. He was told by Sink to continue with the test as Warren had directed. Several months later, Lawson tried to get the brake to pass the qualifying test by using various lining materials, which resulted in the burning of the linings.
Richard Gloor was assigned to the A7D project as a testing engineer. He noticed the instrumentation that was used to record brake pressure have been tampered with the calibration. He told Vandivier he questioned the instrumentation personnel about the calibrations and they stated they received orders from Lawson. Vandivier questioned Lawson on his actions and he admitted he had ordered the instruments to be altered at the direction of, Robert Sink and Russell Van Horn.
Mr. Vandivier later testified that several procedures violate military performance criteria. When the fourteenth series of test stops were completed, Lawson asked Vandivier to help him to write the data and graphics report showing that the brake had qualified. He stated to Lawson that the data report would have to be falsified to clear the brakes. Lawson replied he is aware of falsifying the data report, but he has orders to write it regardless of the actual data.
Vandivier's managers insisted on him to write the entire report including the graphs and charts. Mr. Vandivier complied and on June 5, 1968 that the qualifying report was finalized.

2. Obligation: The stakeholders here are Vandivier, Lawson and B.F. Goodrich. Each participating actor will be affected by the actions of others at Goodrich. By Vandivier and Lawson freely entering an agreement to act as an agent for Goodrich, this means they accept the moral and legal duty to serve their employer loyally, obediently and in a...

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