ethical problem in electrical engineering: conflict of interest


Being ethical is what distinguishes an amateur from a professional. Practicing the required code of ethics goes a long way in shaping a person’s career. Often the electrical engineering profession may be criticized for an occurrence that went adversely wrong affecting the environment and people within. In this field, everything an engineer does affect the community and its development and, sadly the outcome of these deeds are not thoroughly analyzed. Electrical engineering is a demanding profession that does not tolerate error in the line of work. Nonetheless, it not spared of from unethical practices. Despite the various ethical challenges in the occupation, there are ways of ensuring one’s behavior remains ethical in the workplace.

The most significant ethical problem in electrical engineering is the conflict of interest. It arises when an engineer in the workplace agrees or decides upon something which under normal circumstances would lead to a reasonable assumption that they will be tempted to lay aside their primary interests and focus on personal interests (Bowen, 2014). The basic idea behind this ethical issue being significant is how it threatens trust in the career. Although where a conflict of interest exists, does not necessarily imply actual unethical have risen, however obligations may be compromised leading to biased judgment. When this occurs, it may result in catastrophic outcomes to the society. For instance, maybe an electrical engineer is asked to fix frequent blackouts that have been a menace to a given estate. If such an engineer is in hurry or he or she only after the money, he or she will hurriedly fix the issue and leave without trying to find out what exactly might have caused the problem and recommend ways of preventing its occurrence again. As a result, the residents will, again and again, be faced with the same problem of power fall.

When there is a conflict of interest in the electrical engineering profession, it gives birth to lack of cooperation between workmates which is very crucial. This comes into as maybe colleagues try to outdo each other to earn a promotion.  Engineers will tend to struggle to work alone in projects that they would have required a hand so that they may earn all the credit for the project (Mitzner, 2011). As a result, a lot of time is wasted, and the chance of those project failing are high in comparison to if doing it as a team. Working as a team makes way for more invention and innovation as ideas are shared.

Additionally, this ethical challenge jeopardizes respect and honesty in the profession. With a person seeking only to satisfy his or her personal interest, they become less attentive to instructions given to them. The engineers may also lie to be confident in the project just because its success will be beneficial to them. They do this with the hidden knowledge of the dangerous consequences that might result if the project fails.

To remain ethical in the engineering field of work one should disclose any potential conflict of interest at its earliest stage (Lewis & Gilman, 2012). Being transparent to the extent of being in a position to present proof recognized code of ethics are adhered to may also help in ensuring one is not unethical. In this line of work, it is advisable to be patient and not to take things personally. With the right attitude, hardworking and interest of the well-being of the society at heart an engineer will be prosperous.


Bowen, W. (2014). Engineering Ethics: Challenges and Opportunities. Retrieved November 5, 2016,

Lewis, C., & Gilman, S. (2012). The Ethics Challenge in Public Service: A Problem-Solving Guide. Retrieved November 5, 2016,

Mitzner, A. (2011). A Conflict of Interest.

Get a Custom paper from Smart2write

Place your order with us and get a high quality, unique and plagiarism free paper that will guarantee you amazing results!!