Saturday, November 19, 2005

Bribery, corruption, and the entrepreneurial engineer

Nosophorus has an interesting comment about The Entrepreneurial Engineer:
Well, will be there in TEE some chapter, section, etc, that deals with corruption, bribery and other kinds of negative atitudes that an Entrepreneurial Engineer would need to face some day ??I am not joking about it, here in Brazil the person who wants to have an entrepreneurial atitude needs to face (daily??) those "challenges".
The chapter that deals most directly with these matters is Chapter 8, Ethics in Matters Small, Large, and Engineering. Here is the table of contents for that chapter:
8 Ethics in Matters Small, Large, and Engineering
8.1 Is Engineering Ethics Necessarily a Dreadful Bore?
8.2 Ethics: The Systematic Study of Right and Wrong
8.2.1 Golden Rules: Positive and Negative
8.2.2 Whence Right and Wrong?
8.2.3 An Engineer’s Synthesis of Ethical Theory
8.3 From Ethical Theory to Practice
8.3.1 Self-Interest
8.3.2 Obedience to Authority
8.3.3 Conformity to the Group
8.3.4 Practice Makes Perfect
8.4 From Personal to Engineering Ethics
8.4.1 What is a Profession?
8.4.2 A Tale of Two Codes
8.4.3 Conflicts of Interest
8.4.4 Whistleblowing is Not a First Resort
I'll confess that the book (and the chapter) are written from an American perspective where bribery and corruption are less frequent than in Brazil. Having said this, the book does not assume that human beings are perfect little angels. Moreover, the term "entrepreneurial engineer" is used in a broader sense than usual. Our times are ones of great change and engineers everywhere, whether they work for a startup firm (startup entrepreneurial engineers) or whether they work for established firms (intrapreneurial engineers or corporate entrepreneurial engineers) , are increasingly involved in helping their companies seek and exploit opportunity. This requires more finely honed personal, interpersonal, and organizational skills than in times past, and The Entrepreneurial Engineer is aimed at building exactly those skills.

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