In this final assignment we were asked to look at a test case in which we had to use the technique of Line Drawing.

The test case we were presented with was as follows:

John is an engineer at a large electronics firm. It is his job to specify the criteria for a large order of amplifiers. After some research and testing he decides to use ACME amplifiers for the job. Three weeks after the order goes in an ACME representative visits him and gives him and his family a voucher for an all-expense paid trip to the ACME conference in Jamaica. This includes some training sessions on ACME products in the mornings and day trips to the beach and rum factories in the afternoons.

Then the question we were asked was:

” Should John accept the offer? “


(What did I know about this before?)


Before this exercise I thought that “Line Drawing “ in it’s general sense is a decision making process, which involves some techniques, not very familiar to me. I had some idea about what is meant to be achieved but nothing clear enough to understand the purpose of using “Line Drawing” when decisions have to be made in Engineering. I knew that, as with every decision making process this would probably involve breaking down the problem in segments and look at it from professional and ethical point of view to try to come up with a solution.

Still, I had nothing clear in my mind before we were presented with our test case, which I have outlined above.


(Why is this important for an engineer?)

Line Drawing is used in cases where we are unsure how to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable actions. It can be applied to the analysis of a concept. In our test case is the concept of bribery. It can be helpful to us to clarify the basic meaning of the concept of bribery or any other concept for that matter. Can also be used determine if actions undertaken by John in our case are right or wrong in the given circumstances. Again let’s remind our self’s what “Line Drawing” is?

Comparing two cases against each other. First case is a clear-cut unproblematic case called paradigm case and second case is the where we need to make a decision about right and wrong called test case. By just comparing each detail with the paradigm case we have to draw the line

and come up with a solution to the problem underlined in our test case

It is very important for any engineer to be familiar with this technique in order to make the right decisions in the future.


(How will you take this forward? What specific things will you do?)


I am not really sure at this stage how exactly I’m going to take this forward but obviously this technique is very useful and effective in wide variety of cases. It does seem like an easy way to approach morally complicated cases. It will certainly improve and enhance my decision-making abilities for my future career as an engineer. At this time I can’t think of any specific things that I will do.

Most likely I will trust my moral and ethical values and the ability to improvise if presented with a test case.

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