Social Impact Analysis
Ethics in Computing Links
Exercise Resources (Hughes Goodearl)
Introductory comments for students.
Links to case readings.
Potential Background Readings
on the testing line
chips in use
Specific exercise materials.
ethics test worksheeet
Each of the following four option sets are associated with one of the
four incidents listed in the central readings above.
Options for Goodearl Introduction
What should Goodearl do at this point?
Evaluate the following courses of action using the ethics and feasibility
- She should not push the issue any further. This would require that
she do exactly what LaRue tells and look the other way at any irregularities
she should stumble across.
- She should have a one-on-one meeting with LaRue and explain, in as
diplomatic a way as possible, her concerns with short changing the tests
on the chips. She should make it clear that she is not trying to be
disloyal but to help the company avoid the fallout that would result
should this become public.
- Confront LaRue and tell him that if this nonsense continues, she will
take the issue outside of Hughes. She should also add that if she is
fired, she will sue Hughes, and him personally, for harassment.
- Quit her job. It is obvious that the working environment is deteriorating
fast, and she will only be coerced into doing something illegal if she
- Blow the whistle on her supervisors but keep it within Hughes. This
would involve scheduling a meeting with a high level supervisor, probably
Karl Reismueller, the head of the entire Division of Microelectronics.
- Your solution
Options for Lisa Lightner Incident
What should Goodearl and Lightner do at this point?
A. Evaluate the following alternatives of action using the ethics and
- She should do nothing more. She has already gone above and beyond
the call of duty by putting her job in danger and angering her supervisors.
However, if she is concerned about becoming an accomplice to an illegal
act, she should document what has transpired thoroughly so she can show
that she did everything she could short of blowing the whistle.
- She should do what Himmel suggested: try to work with LaRue. She and
Lightner should go to him and try to find alternatives to skipping the
chips. Maybe the testing process can be accelerated. Maybe the "girls"
can offer to work overtime. She should not agree to short changing the
tests but try to have alternatives to shipping the chips behind schedule.
- If LaRue and Saia want to play hardball then so be it. She and Lightner
should consult a lawyer and document these incidents of harassment.
Then they can together go to LaRue and threaten to go public if this
nonsense doesn't stop. If LaRue gets angry (or if Saia gets angry) then
they should be equally confrontational and say that they have enough
documented evidence to sue for harassment.
- She and Lightner should quit. It is not worth fighting an organization
that won't change, and at this point, if they don't quit then they become
- Your solution
B. Recall the solution you choose at the earlier decision point.
- Did you make the same decisions as Gooderal?
- If not, compare your solution to hers
- If so, did you make the right decision given the Lisa Lightner indicent?
- Would you change your first decision in light of this additional knowledge?
Options for Shirley Reddick Incident
How should Goodearl deal with her new boss?
A. Evaluate the following decision alternatives using the ethics and
- She should do as Rhodes says and try to get along with everybody.
- She should be diplomatic with Rhodes but still insist that not properly
testing chips and passing chips that have not been tested or have failed
tests is not in anybody's interest.
- She should stand up to Rhodes and say that it is her business and
to say that if she talks this way to her again, she will file a complaint
- She should blow the whistle. In fact, she is obligated to do so, since
there are severe public safety concerns that she cannot get resolved
inside the company.
- She should resign.
- Your solution
B. Given the Shirley Reddick incident, would you change anything about
the decisions you reached at the end of parts one and two?
Options for AMRAAM Incident
What should Gooderal and Ibarra do with their evidence?
- They should schedule an interview with Karl Reismueller, the head
of the Division of Microelectronics, and present it to him.
- They should blow the whistle by going either to the press or to the
- They should keep this evidence in case this matter should ever become
public. Then they could use it to keep from getting into trouble themselves.
- They should give up and do what they are told.
- Your solution