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Rudnicka, Ewa A (2009) DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION OF A MODEL TO ASSESS ENGINEERING ETHICAL REASONING AND DECISION MAKING. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Several ethical decision making models have been developed over the last twenty years. Past research has attempted to evaluate these models by assessing numerous factors potentially linked to the decision process involving ethical issues. Past research studying ethical decision making in organizations has focused on the business perspective and on individual decision making. Little empirical research has focused on teams' ethical decision making in engineering and none (to the author's knowledge) have studied the process of ethical decision making by engineers. For this research two primary models have been adopted: Jones's Synthesis of Ethical Decision Making model and the Harris, Pritchard, and Rabins (HPR) Model widely used in engineering. These models were combined along with factors cited in the literature to form a proposed Ethical Decision Making in Engineering Model. Using this model an experimental study involving both individuals and teams of engineering students solving two ethical dilemmas of different moral intensity was used to: (1) investigate whether engineering student teams make "better" decisions than individual engineering students, (2) evaluate the processes used by the individuals and teams to resolve the dilemmas, (3) and assess variables that potentially affect the quality of the resolution and the quality of the decision process.From this research, the analysis of the team decision making process and its outcomes has enabled the researcher to identify key factors that play a role in engineering ethical decision making, as well as identify potential improvement areas for engineering ethics education. In general, students who have had an engineering ethics course perform better (in teams or as individuals) than students who did not have engineering ethics course for an engineering dilemma with moderate moral intensity; and teams outperformed individuals on the Resolution attribute and spent more time on Analysis and Recognition of Dilemma attributes. Further, the derived regression analysis models showed that having had an engineering ethics course, working in teams, work experience, being female, the type of engineering major, and the dilemma's moral intensity are significant predictors of the overall Resolution as measured by the report quality.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rudnicka, Ewa Arudnicka@pitt.eduRUDNICKA
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBesterfield-Sacre, Mary
Committee MemberWolfe, Harvey
Committee MemberNeedy, Kim LaScola
Committee MemberShuman, Larry J
Committee Member Pinkus, Rosa L
Date: 25 September 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 26 June 2009
Approval Date: 25 September 2009
Submission Date: 16 July 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Industrial Engineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: ethical decision making model; engineering ethical decision making; engineering ethics
Other ID:, etd-07162009-102245
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:51
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:46


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