The Curing Oven
A production manager takes a shortcut around required air quality permits.
A production manager works with a Puerto Rican company that manufactures electronic products. The company’s management asks the engineers to increase the production line capacity because of an increase in product demand. After completing a capacity analysis, the engineering department recommends adding a UV curing oven to the production line.
The company accepts this recommendation and orders the oven. One month later it is in place and ready for production. The manufacturing and engineering managers ask the production manager to begin using the new oven immediately as they wish to increase production as quickly as possible. But when the production manager asks whether the required air quality permits have been granted, the engineering manager informs him that it will be at least two weeks before they will get them from the EQB (Environmental Quality Board).
Rather than wait two more weeks the production manager suggests starting the ovens now. The permits would arrive soon; meanwhile, nobody would know that the ovens were temporarily operating without them.
This case is reprinted with permission from the cases found at the Center for Ethics in the Professions at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez.