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I think Kim Roddis raises a good point. There should not be numbers, but rather these different buckets should be regarded as pillars in holding up ethical behavior, and if one is weak then it threatens the overall.
And yes, "environment" is different from "society" and should be maintained separately.
Are you saying the numbers also indicate hierarchical position? That is to say, is Environment higher in the hierarchy than Peers?I don't think the graphic from Refresh conveys a clear hierachy. "A hierarchy (from the Greek hierarkhia, "rule of a high priest", from hierarkhes, "president of sacred rites") is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being "above", "below", or "at the same level as" one another. " https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hierarchy
Instead of using a sort of Venn diagram in-plan representation with the Preamble 'on top of' the 5 Stakeholders, a clearer graphic would have the Preamble at the top of the figure with the 5 Stakeholders in order down the page, perhaps inset at each step to show that a Stakeholder with a higher number dominates a Stakeholder with a lower number.Before the committee finalizes its graphic, it would be a good idea to test it with ASCE members who haven't see it before to see what they think it means. This seems worthwhile since with three people (you, me, and Chad) we have three different interpretations from seeing the current graphic.
I thank Bill Hayden and Mark Gilligan for getting back to my previous post about the implicit assumption of the code (existing and future) operating within an open society and the difficulties posed to applying it within a closed society. From my previous post:
"I have concerns about how the new code will be implemented internationally. The existing ASCE code, as well as that of the NSPE, was developed in an open society https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_society. How can the spirit of the code be successfully implemented in a closed society? … I think it is necessary to address this on-going problem explicitly in the development of the new code."
Bill, your response to my post focused on the gender issue within an open society. Yes, I used gender as one of my examples in my previous post, but my point was application within a closed society. The WSJ article is explicitly about the U.S., an open society. What I was and am trying to say is the development of the new code should be a well-informed process. Being informed includes being explicitly aware of the context difference of the code of ethics within open and closed societies.
Mark, you pointed out that "Introducing social justice issues into the code of ethics has the potential of creating unintended consequences." I agree. I am talking about an informed process, not a product containing social justice issues.
The on-going problem I am trying to talk about is that currently there are many places in the world where the current ASCE code cannot be followed without breaking laws and social norms. Those developing the new code should be aware of this problem and think about how it will be dealt with by ASCE members in other countries.
ASCE is an international organization, not an American organization. The present and future ASCE Code of Ethics needs to be functional in many societal contexts.
I like this society-oriented hierarchy. Contrary to what some people seem to think (and even the way many who say otherwise might end up behaving in practice), your ethical duties to your clients and employees are largely contractual and, therefore, limited. Your ethical responsibility to The World is ever-present. It is present when you were born, and it only grows as you mature.
Thanks, Stephanie, for initiating this thread.Like others, I teach 'ethics' to our civil engineering students - and have for over 20 years. From that perspective, certainly it is advantageous that ASCE's Code of Ethics shares the format (and much of the same language) as NSPE, ASME, and others - particularly when prepping students for the FE, and when using ASCE's "A Question of Ethics" cases for analysis and application. I fully realize, however, that practitioners may respond better to a format other than "Canons".
I agree with a couple of comments made in response to the article itself -- is a new organization/format demonstrably an "improvement"? Is this simply change-for-change's-sake? In addition, there should be an opportunity provided to the general membership for reaction/comment to the proposed changes.On a more pedantic note, I was curious about the graphic included in the article - the middle circle says "Preamble: Overarching behavior ethical principals". Two things: (1) I hope this was not supposed to be a sentence (I am guessing there are two items in the Preamble - overarching behavior - and - ethical principles); and (2) should it not be "principles" rather than "principals" (as it is spelled in the graphic)? Hmmm...Again, thanks for the topic!!!
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Hi Melanie, thanks for noting diversity, inclusion, and the current reality that while under the current ASCE Code of Ethics discouraging women from STEM Careers is a violation, it needs to be more explicit.
I really like what Bevin asserts, "The code should not allow ambiguities."
And then Charles adds "There should not be numbers, but rather these different buckets should be regarded as pillars in holding up ethical behavior, and if one is weak then it threatens the overall.
What will make ASCE's next Code of Ethics credible to the public-at-large, private and public sector clients, and those young women and men who decide to enter the profession will be its ability to pass the 'snicker' test.
'Snicker', the natural instinct one has to spontaneous hold a suppressed laugh.
o Real-World Challenges Today:
Bring in your men and women engineers between the ages of 27 to 39 to be part of this Code of Ethics exercise, and let some of the more mature engineers serve as "Review Boards."
I wish to build a bit on Kim's earlier closing point "I think it is necessary to address this on-going problem explicitly in the development of the new code."
And I will be uncharacteristically brief!
Each of us, as well of others not yet in this online chat-dialogue have personal, sincere, professional, and other reasons for their assertive positions. Today's Wall Street Journal, 10-11AUG2019, offers still another, "Economics 101."
As the article states "The growing clout of women as drivers of the U.S. economy will radically alter the business and investing landscape in years to come."
". . .Ignoring the changes is the equivalent of sticking one's head in shifting sand."
--Justin LaHart and Lauren Silva Laughlin
Balanced Code of Ethics – "Open" Versus "Closed" Society
It finally occurred to me that we probably are not the first professional society to have to address the challenges Kim keeps reminding us of.
Therefore, I assembled some limited examples to highlight what other professions have done.
N.B. What is shared herein is *NOT* offered for any 'cut & paste' but rather to suggest we need to develop a specialized cross-functional, multi-disciplined task force Program, with a Projects Plan and its' usual 'trimmings' to get off the "Well, here's what I think" wagon, and do the professional work we've been educated, trained, and conditioned to do. . . .Including arms-length Phase-Gate Reviews.
Moreover, as usual, of course I may be wrong!
Some References Without Either Recommendation Nor Prejudice Follow:
 Means non-engineers, sociocultural psychologists, beaucoup women <40 years young, and > 27,
multicultural, yada, yada, yada.
 WBS, Risk Management Plan, etc., etc., etc.
2nd Release: Balanced Code of Ethics – "Open" Versus "Closed" Society
To help those with limited time, I decided to provide sources with 'hotlinks.'To be clear the documents in this second release are not duplicates of the initial release.
8/12/19 11:12 PM W. M. Hayden Jr.
Suggested citation: National Academy of Engineering. 2017. Overcoming Challenges to Infusing Ethics into the Development of Engineers: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/24821.
Brock E. Barry, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE; Chair
Taylor Boileau, S.M.ASCE
Lawrence Chiarelli, Esq., P.E., F.ASCE
Monte Philips, Ph.D., P.E., Dist.M.ASCE
Anna Pridmore, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE
Stephanie Slocum, P.E., LEED BD+C, M.ASCE
Peter Terry, P.E., F.ASCE
Tara Hoke, ASCE General Counsel; Staff ContactUse of this Collaboration thread was just an initial step in the process. We are currently conducting weekly meetings with representatives of interested ASCE committees. Those meeting will continue into mid-November. By early December we anticipate opening up that process for comment by all members of ASCE.Have faith that ASCE is in fact implementing a well-designed processes for obtain feedback, incorporate edits, and building member consensus.RegardsBrock