It may be necessary to utilize a guideline to identify if the conflict of interests is present in a particular situation. The first goal is to determine all parties that are involved. The next step is to evaluate duties that one may owe to his or her clients. Personal interests and associated risks also should be reviewed. It is necessary to identify how an employee could have taken advantage of the position to gain profits.
Possible risks also should be analyzed. It would be reasonable to assess if such actions would be beneficial for an individual and if the situation is problematic for the company. Conflicts of interest related to engineering are frequently associated with certain knowledge or data, and it is imperative to determine if an employee had access to such information (Moaveni 138). It is also important to assess the scope of the issue and what harm has been caused or may potentially be caused (Whitbeck 41). Moreover, it is paramount to identify if the client was aware of the conflict of interest and if he or she agreed to continue professional relationships (Sweet and Schneier 183).
It is necessary to understand that there are three types of such situations, and each one has its unique aspects. The first one is the real conflict of interest and the second one suggests that a particular risk is present. The last section contains instances when some situations can be perceived as problematic (Speight and Foote 77). Furthermore, the primary objective of the process of identification is to determine the level of severity of the situation and if a conflict is present.
A worker that has acted unreasonably because of the conflict of interest may be viewed as legally responsible for the damage that has been caused. The first objective is to analyze the situation. It is important to determine if pieces of evidence would prove that their actions were caused by the conflict of interest. Legal liability is possible if it is evident that they had a personal benefit and tried to influence a particular decision.
Moreover, one has to breach his or her duties because of the conflict of interests to be deemed responsible. It is important to understand that one may deny that his or her actions were caused by personal reasons, and it may not be an easy task to prove that actions were improper. It is not reasonable to seek compensation only because there is a chance that one could have various interests. It is not possible to avoid such situations in some cases. It would be beneficial to take disciplinary action once the issue has been identified in the form of an oral or written warning to highlight problematic areas.
Also, such situations should be described in the policies of the company (Plummer 137). Suspension may also be considered if an employee is not able to perform required tasks because of conflicts. It is imperative to develop a particular strategy that would be utilized to ensure that the process is successful. Also, it is necessary to make an appropriate distinction between the actual situation and potential risks (Harris et al. 104). Overall, the most attention should be devoted to the analysis of the situation to identify if the claim is reasonable from the legal perspective.
Harris, Charles E., Michael S. Pritchard, Michael J. Rabins, Ray James, and Elaine Englehardt. Engineering Ethics: Concepts and Cases. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.
Moaveni, Saaed. Engineering Fundamentals: An Introduction to Engineering. 5th ed. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2015. Print.
Plummer, Frederick. Project Engineering: The Essential Toolbox for Young Engineers. Oxford, UK: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2011. Print.
Speight, James G., and Russell Foote. Ethics in Science and Engineering. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011. Print.
Sweet, Justin, and Marc M. Schneier. Legal Aspects of Architecture, Engineering and the Construction Process. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
Whitbeck, Caroline. Ethics in Engineering Practice and Research. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Print.