Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 323–350 | Cite as

Ethical Risk Management Education in Engineering: A Systematic Review

  • Yoann Guntzburger
  • Thierry C. Pauchant
  • Philippe A. Tanguy
Review Paper


Risk management is certainly one of the most important professional responsibilities of an engineer. As such, this activity needs to be combined with complex ethical reflections, and this requirement should therefore be explicitly integrated in engineering education. In this article, we analyse how this nexus between ethics and risk management is expressed in the engineering education research literature. It was done by reviewing 135 articles published between 1980 and March 1, 2016. These articles have been selected from 21 major journals that specialize in engineering education, engineering ethics and ethics education. Our review suggests that risk management is mostly used as an anecdote or an example when addressing ethics issues in engineering education. Further, it is perceived as an ethical duty or requirement, achieved through rational and technical methods. However, a small number of publications do offer some critical analyses of ethics education in engineering and their implications for ethical risk and safety management. Therefore, we argue in this article that the link between risk management and ethics should be further developed in engineering education in order to promote the progressive change toward more socially and environmentally responsible engineering practices. Several research trends and issues are also identified and discussed in order to support the engineering education community in this project.


Risk management Safety Engineering ethics Engineering education Systematic review 



This research has received funding from the Fonds de recherche sur la société et la culture du Québec (FRQSC). We are very grateful for their financial support. We are also very grateful for the useful and relevant comments made by the editor and the four anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ManagementHEC MontrealMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Chemical Engineering DepartmentPolytechnique MontrealMontrealCanada

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