Situational Analysis on Ethical Decisions

SituationalAnalysis on Ethical Decisions

SituationalAnalysis on Ethical Decisions

Takingshortcuts: FAA and company regulations

It is the duty of employees to encourage safety through enforcementprocess and compliance. Safety in the aviation industry dependsprincipally on adherence and enforcement to regulatory requirements.In fact, according to Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (2011),employees in the aviation industry should be made to understand andfollow adherence, enforcement policies, and procedural protections.This means that safety is cultivated successfully as long asregulations are enforced and employees endeavor to cultivate safetymeasures. On the other hand, most aviation companies strive to cutcosts and cultivate procedures or methods that ensure the delivery ofthe highest quality to consumers. However, the FAA must sanction anyprocess cultivated by a company to ensure quality and safetyadherence. This means that the assemblage and integration ofcomponents must be thoroughly tested and approved by both the companyand FAA.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (2013), human factorssuch as stress, unrealistic deadlines, poor instructions, poortraining, incorrect or incomplete documentation, exhaustion, poorlydesigned testing for ability and knowledge, and complacencycontribute to numerous aviation accidents. Furthermore, the FAAcontends that human factors contribute to 80% of maintenance errors,which if unchecked can cause injuries, events, and accidents (FederalAviation Administration, 2013). Currently, the department is behindthe schedule and over budget in assembling and assimilatingcomponents into the finished product. This means that any strategicapproach to cut costs and beat the deadline is greatly welcome.However, it is also imperative to ensure that company and FAA mustsanction any cultivated strategic approach hence, the need toevaluate the situation ethically. It is imperative to note thattaking shortcuts is a bad habit, which workers fall into, butorganizations can take approaches to change this behavior.Furthermore, organizations should ensure that employees comply withquality and safety procedures. Companies should

  1. Emphasize the organizational ethics and values of workplace safety and quality, as well as, prioritize safety over meeting deadlines and cutting costs

  2. Encourage open and effective communication with employees about quality and safety behaviors and values

  3. Impose safety checklists to ensure that employees follow all steps to the letter during task completion

  4. Explain to employees all job hazards so that workers become cognizant of their present dangers

  5. Discipline workers who take shortcuts, break rules or fail to comply with laid down procedures.

Decisionand justification

In most cases,shortcuts generate short-time benefits and allow a company to dealwith a short-term problem. However, in most cases, shortcuts arehurriedly sanctioned, which means that companies do not considertheir implications. In this case, approving the shortcut at thedepartment level means that the department will assemble andintegrate the components on time and cut costs. It also means thatthe FAA and the company will not test the procedure or approve itthus, it will be difficult to realize the long-term implications ofthe shortcut. To ensure adherence to safety and quality aspects, thedepartment should ignore the shortcut and follow the right proceduresor processes in assembling the components. Approving the procedurewould take time hence, the need to disregard the procedure andfollow the laid down procedures. However, the department shouldnotify the company of the shortcut for it to be thoroughly tested andevaluated. Notifying the company of the shortcut will also help tounderstand both short-term and long-term implications of theprocedure.

Taking shortcutsundermine job quality and safety guidelines and increase riskexposure. Taking shortcuts means that an employee does not have anyregard for safety or quality. Shappell and Wiegmann (2012) assertthat employees who take shortcuts are six times more probable toencounter accidents than employees who practice safe behaviors. Inmost cases, employees take shortcuts for numerous reasons

  1. Employees take shortcuts to get a job done quickly and easily. Most employees think that by taking shortcuts, they will meet organizational deadlines and quota production. Shappell and Wiegmann (2012) contend that when running behind a schedule, employees will usually engage in shortcuts. In this case, the employees think that by taking a shortcut, they will assemble and integrate the components on time and by cut costs in the process.

  2. Employees also take shortcuts as they are unaware of the quality and safety risks associated with a task. It is important to note that a shortcut is usually not sanctioned or approved by a company thus, employees do not understand the implications of the shortcut to quality and safety aspects. Taking a shortcut, in this case, means that the employees fail to comprehend assembling components without following the due process will likely result in an unsafe aircraft.

  3. When employees have extensive experience at their job, they become complacent in complying with quality and safety processes. Therefore, they decide to ignore safety procedures.

Conclusively, the department should not take the shortcut, as thiswill have negative implications for the company. Wong and Tong (2012)posit that one of the nastiest aviation tragedies in history, the1979 crashing of an American Airlines Jet at Chicago’s O’HareAirport in which 2 airport employees and 271 people on board werekilled was as a result of human factors (complacency and takingshortcuts). The ensuing inquiry revealed that engineers working onthe aircraft 2 months before the accident had taken shortcuts inremoving the engines from the wing pillar for maintenance, whichsplintered an aluminum module in the pylon (Wong &amp Tong, 2012).Attrition during airlifts afterward widened the split, and ultimatelythe pillar broke causing the engine to rip. Apart from accidents,shortcuts lead to injuries, increased costs in maintenance, medicalcosts, and compensation claims. Shortcuts may also indirectly creategaps in quality procedures, decreased morale, poor customerexperience, and lost work time thus, taking shortcuts create morenegative implications than positive implications.


Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. (2011). FAA enforcement.Retrieved July 21, 2016, from

Federal Aviation Administration (2013). Addendum/Human Factors. InAviation Maintenance Technician Handbook – General.Retrieved 21 July 2016, from

Shappell, S. A., &amp Wiegmann, D. A. (2012).&nbspA human errorapproach to aviation accident analysis: The human factors analysisand classification system. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd..

Wong, T. T., &amp Tong, S. (2012, December). An airworthiness SHELLmodel for aircraft maintenance. In&nbsp2012 IEEE InternationalConference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management&nbsp(pp.1292-1296). IEEE.