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Exercise Resources (Hughes Profession)

Links to case readings.

Central Readings

Goodearl Introduction

Lisa Lightner Incident

Shirley Reddick Incident

AMRAAM Incident

Saia gets a call

Potential Background Readings


Life on the testing line

Quality Assurance

The Fraud Hotline

The chips

The chips in use

The tests


Whistleblower US Law

Ethical Analysis on Power

Specific exercise materials.


Criteria for whether an occupation is a profession


To determine if an occupation has the characteristics of a profession, ask the following five questions about it. The items listed under each of the questions are examples of ways that the question might be answered in the affirmative. The stronger the evidence for each of the sub-criteria and the more sub-criteria that are true, the more likely that question should be answered yes.

For this exercise, use the evidence from the case to determine if the occupation that Margaret Goodearl or Frank Saia was following count as professions.

  1. Require Specialized Knowledge?
    1. A Specialized Degree
    2. A Systematic body of knowledge
  2. Regulate itself?
    1. Have a primary (or a few competing) organizations
    2. Regulate professional behavior of members
    3. Control admission to the profession
  3. Have a recognized set of ethics?
    1. A Code of ethics with enforcement (see regulation above)
    2. A culture of shared, pro-social values and norms
    3. A dedication to service to the larger public
  4. Have social status
    1. Well paid
    2. Thought of as a respectable occupation
    3. A strong occupational identification
  5. Have Autonomy in decision-making
    1. Professional authority to make decisions
    2. Credibility for decisions
    3. Independence in employment


Questions for the exercise

  1. How many criteria for a profession does Goodearl's occupation have?
  2. How many criteria for a profession does Saia's occupation have?
  3. Would it have helped Goodearl if she had had access to an "Micro-circuitry Testing" professional society to back her up?
  4. If there were such a society and members met all the five criteria, how would Goodearl's job have been different? How would Goodearl's obligations change?