Engineers, Firms and Nations: Ethical Dilemmas in the New Global Environment
Global firms—which are the primary organizational entities through which commercial engineering is conducted—have largely lost attachment to their country of origins. Although they may retain some cultural heritage that stems from their country of origin, they are increasingly global organizations that have multiple “host countries” in which they have located some portion of their operations. As a result, they have a decreasing degree of investment in, or loyalty to, any one nation. At the macro, policy level, this new globalization raises questions about the context in which engineering work (as well as other work) is conducted. This structural change in firms and the process of technology development raises questions about engineering values and ethics. This paper will provide an overview of the structural changes in technology development based on fieldwork conducted by the authors, and discuss the value and policy implications of these changes.
KeywordsNationalism Technonationalism Globalization Collaborative advantage Stakeholders
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