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Michael S Pritchard and Elaine E. Englehardt Distinguished Professors of Philosophy RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT FOR PROFESSIONALS.

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Presentation on theme: "Michael S Pritchard and Elaine E. Englehardt Distinguished Professors of Philosophy RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT FOR PROFESSIONALS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Michael S Pritchard and Elaine E. Englehardt Distinguished Professors of Philosophy RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT FOR PROFESSIONALS

2 “THE INTEGRITY OF THE GAME IS EVERYTHING.” PETER UEBERROTH, BASEBALL COMMISSIONER, Integrity in all Professions Headlines in sports with steroid probes: Lance Armstrong, Alex Rodrigues, Jhonny Peralta and Roger Clemens. Headlines in Science: Problems in America, South Korea, Japan, and many other countries

3 INTEGRITY IS FIRM ADHERENCE TO MORAL PRINCIPLES AND IDEALS: INCORRUPTIBILITY Researchers allege Merck waged a campaign of deception to promote Vioxx. They hid possible Hazards. They claimed in-house studies as work of independent academic Researchers. Blood pressure medication results Demonstrate falsification of data with Japanese pharmaceutical corp. Herbal products have “weeds and other materials” in them rather than herbs. Do the herbs actually help individuals with health concerns?

4 CODES OF CONDUCT FOR IH Codes of Conduct are important guidelines for Professionals in IH: The code provides a framework individuals for guiding the entire professional group. If a group of professionals are not in line with the code, what happens to the society? Should the code be changed or the society? Codes ask for a collaborative commitment to the profession. The individual’s desires in the profession are secondary. The profession must survive and to survive the code is in place as a guide of professional responsibilities. It also details how to serve clients, patients and the public.

5 A SIMILAR PROFESSIONAL CODE: THE PREAMBLE TO THE NSPE CODE OF ETHICS FOR ENGINEERS: To loosen up the grip that ‘misconduct’ has on us, consider how engineering societies approach responsibility. The Preamble to the NSPE Code of Ethics for Engineers:

6 “ Engineering (…Industrial Hygiene) is an important and learned profession…. Industrial Hygiene (Engineering) has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all people. Accordingly, the services provided by these professionals require honesty, impartiality, fairness, and equity, and must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. They must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct.” PROFESSIONALS IN DAILY LIFE

7 VIRTUES IN ALL FORMS- RESEARCH Suppose we substitute ‘Industrial Hygiene’ for ‘engineering’. Nothing ethically significant changes. What seems to be called for is that IH exhibit certain virtues, certain dispositions regarding what it is to be a responsible professional. Honesty in the profession would be one of those virtues.

8 KNOWLEDGE EXPLOSION William May says, “The knowledge explosion is also an ignorance explosion.” This is partly because expertise is highly specialized. **But it is also because experts have to rely on one another to do their work responsibly because they have neither the time nor desire to monitor one another’s work all, or even much, of the time.

9 “PROFESSIONALS MUST BE VIRTUOUS” “Professionals had better be virtuous. Few may be in a position to discredit them. The knowledge explosion is also an ignorance explosion; if knowledge is power, then ignorance is powerlessness.” Given this picture of the world(s) of professionals, May suggests: “One test of character and virtue is what a person does when no one is watching. A society that rests on expertise needs more people who can pass that test.”

10 WHAT RESPONSIBLE PROFESSIONALISM REQUIRES Responsible professionalism in industrial hygiene requires more than simply following rules. Rules will not resolve the personal conflicts and moral dilemmas that arise in in the profession.

11 WHO MUST WE PROTECT? WHO IS USING YOUR PRODUCTS? Every day there are new choices to be made in your jobs. These are choices in professional integrity. The adequacy or inadequacy of the protection of those who will utilize your products cannot rely solely upon procedural safeguards..

12 GO BEYOND THE RULES: THEY ARE A MINIMUM STANDARD Bounded Ethicality (F) Conflict of Interest (F) Conformity Bias (F)

13 HE MADE ME DO IT: TRUST AND INTEGRITY The Jack Abramoff Story: “In it to Win.” When you hear his name what comes to mind?

14 FADING FROM ETHICS Ethical Fading (F) Fundamental Moral Unit (F) Framing and Mental Models(F) Incentive Gaming (F)

15 HASTINGS CENTER GOALS Hastings Center goals in teaching ethics: * Stimulate moral imagination *Recognize moral/ethical issues *Analyze key concepts and Principles *Stimulate a sense of responsibility. *Help us deal with ambiguity and disagreement

16 ETHICAL GAPS We tend to overestimate how ethical we are— The person I want to be is not the same as The person I actually am Deliberate Wrongdoers Aware Of Others’ Wrongdoing—but Do Nothing Not (Consciously) Aware Of Their Wrongdoing “Culpable Ignorance” Incrementalism

17 WHEN GOOD PEOPLE PERFORM QUESTIONABLE ACTS Moral Agents/Moral Worth: “The processes that lead even good people to engage in ethically questionable behavior that contradicts their own preferred ethics.” Limits resulting from our self-interest, concerns for “our near and dear”, organizational and social factors Tendency “to exclude important and relevant information from our decisions by placing arbitrary and dysfunctional bounds around our definition of a problem.”

18 EVERYBODY IS DOING IT, SO IT MUST BE OK Conflicts of interest, loyalty to friend or firm. Linguistic Masking: “Collateral damage” vs. “Dead civilians” “Creative accounting” vs. “ Cooking the books” Chemical pollution as “runoff” Waste as “by-product” “Laid off,” “downsized,” “made redundant” vs. “Fired” Moral Equilibrium (F)

19 MENTAL MODELS OF BEHAVIOR Overconfidence Bias: We need recognition of our unethical behavior. (F) Awareness of the acts can trigger mental models operative in our thinking. We can then begin exploring means by which to correct them. It is that cognition that helps us accept the responsibility.

20 ARE ETHICS VIOLATIONS RARE IN OUR PROFESSION--IH? Only a few bad apples? Why does it happen? Is it acceptable to lie, deceive Or conceal?

21 RECALIBRATE MORALITY Role Morality (film) We cultivate new behavioral strategies Create new habits, and Galvanize more intentional and evolved mental models. While we organize and order our world through mental models, we do not often do so with the luxury of analytical hindsight.

22 SELF-SERVING BIAS Failing to attend to our ethics blind spots creates self serving bias. (film) “Vision is one of the best things we do. We have a huge part of our brain dedicated to vision. Bigger than dedicated to anything else... We are evolutionarily designed to do vision. And if we have these predictable repeatable mistakes in vision, which we're so good at, what's the chance that we don't make even more mistakes in something we're not as good at.

23 STANLEY MILGRAM AND OBEDIENCE TO AUTHORITY The central question that challenges each viewer or reader of Milgram’s obedience experiments is not simply why the subject/participant acted in the manner observed, but how that reader would act if in the same situation.

24 MORAL IMAGINATION If we do not attend to this blindness; if we do not revisit our mental models and develop a strong moral imagination in order to challenge the intuitions that otherwise persist without question or deliberation, we are destined to accept common bias.

25 CAN YOU JUST SAY NO? So, when faced with a corporate, professional or organizational opportunity to say “no” to an inappropriate request or expectation, what “mental model” would be operative with us? Would we recognize the request or expectation as problematic, develop a strong commitment to our individual choices and values, and then take a firm stance as needed?

26 DISASTERS AT BP & HALABURTON 11 crew died immediately or in the water, 16 seriously injured 200 million gallons of light sweet crude spilled in the Gulf over the next 100 days Last moment of the Deep-water Horizon The platform sank 36 hours after ignition

27 SHARED VALUES FOR RESPONSIBLE CONDUCT HONESTY — conveying information truthfully and honoring commitments, ACCURACY — reporting findings precisely and taking care to avoid errors EFFICIENCY — using resources wisely and avoiding waste OBJECTIVITY — letting facts speak for themselves avoiding improper bias.

28 DON’T BEND AND STRETCH RULES Rules are not always reasonable or rationally applied. Life and colleagues are not always fair. Good guys do sometimes seem to come in last.

29 WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Would you report misconduct Would you report misconduct even if doing so could put your career at risk? Would you turn in someone for Would you turn in someone for cheating, or “mind your own cheating, or “mind your own business”? business”? Nuremburg trials

30 DON’T IGNORE PROBLEMS YOU SEE Be proactive Report concerns to responsible leaders Support those who come forward to discuss an issue or report a concern Don’t ignore a concern------------------

31 LOCAL RESOLUTION IS A START Local resolution is usually the best place to start Use normal supervisory channels Units may have assigned specific people to handle certain concerns

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