The customer wants a bicycle company to manufacture a bicycle which uses a low-quality material. The engineer notices this and wants to replace it with a more durable material, but it would change the look of the bicycle. The manager disagrees and tells the engineer ‘the customer is always right’. If the engineer chooses not to change the material the bike might break in few months, and might also put the customer in a hazard. However, if the engineer changes the material, he would go against his employer and customers. The engineer has to act in this particular situation. 
The customer is not always right
The process of making an ethical decision is complicated that includes a series of ‘steps’ . The stakeholders in this case are the engineer, manager and customer. Changing the material of the bicycle would upset the customer because his desires wouldn’t be met. The manager loses trust and can’t rely on his employee to follow his instructions. The engineer maintains his professional integrity by following his code of conduct, but risks losing his job.
The moral values of the engineer are that since he is aware the bike is a hazard, he wants to fix it and keep the customer safe. He also wants to keep other people in society safe from the bicycle because if it breaks down it could cause injury or an accident. He values that he should be truthful in his work, and so wants to address the faulty cables instead of ignoring them. He also wants to have self-respect that he is a good engineer who can do his job well and deliver a high standard product.
The option for action in this part is the engineer should inform the customer about the material problem and offer options for solutions. Several strategies could be used. In Black and White Strategy, only two options for action are considered, changing the material or not. The cause of action for the engineer to change the material is just because the material that the customer request to repair the bicycle could cause danger to the user. However, according to Cooperation Strategy, the engineer should also consult other stakeholders (the customer) to look for a win-win solution. In Whistleblowing Strategy, the engineer could inform the media or the public about the issue as he wants to go against the desire of his employer. The cost of this strategy is high but the ‘human safety or health is at stake’ . So it would be worth to use this strategy.
The moral acceptability of the above option for action needs to be judged by several formal and informal ethical frameworks.
Formally, in Utilitarianism:
‘‘the greatest happiness for the greatest number.’’ 
- van de Poel & L. Royakkers, 2006
The engineer letting the customer choose whether to replace a more durable material or not would bring the highest number of stakeholders as the manager and the customer would be happy with either decision. And according to the freedom principle, the engineer must inform the customer about the problem. Otherwise, the engineer would deny the pleasure of the customer whether change the material or not. Also, in Kant’s Theory:
“A nature cause is a state of a substance upon which another state of some substance follows in accordance with necessary rule; this rule is the pertinent casual law.” 
KrV A189/B232, A534/B562
The moral rule, in this case, is the codes of conduct form the institution of IMechE.
‘…identify and quantify all risks associated with their work and manage them in conformity with accepted engineering and environmental standards and in a manner which does not compromise the welfare, health and safety of society. They shall inform those for whom they work in all matters relating to risk in a full and timely fashion.’ 
CR5.4, Codes of Conducts Regulations IMechE
To follow the codes of conduct from his institution, the engineer should inform the customer about the potential risk and give the customer options to choose.
Informally, in common sense rule. It is obvious duty of a good engineer to inform the customer the potential danger of the product.
Customer is always right
‘Customer is always right’ is positive business ethics, which will win the trust of the customer. In this case, customer, engineer and manager play the role of stakeholders and engineer wants to repair the bike without changing the material. When this decision been made, the customer will be happy with this for the bike being repaired. The manager will be happy as well because the customer’s demand has been met and the relationship between the customer and the company will be better. But the engineer will not be happy for that he did not make a decision based on his engineering knowledge, but the manager may trust him in his later career.
The customer is always right, and the engineer wants to follow codes of conduct of the company, then we advise option for action is that the engineer should inform the customer about the problem and give the customer option to choose. This action is based on both the theory of ‘utilitarianism’ and ‘positive business ethics’.
‘An act or practice is right or good or just in the utilitarian view insofar as it tends to maximize happiness, usually defined as the surplus of pleasure over pain.’ 
John Plamenatz (1958)
‘I find that, in my business dealings and the dealings of my business, the principle of telling the whole truth cuts through ethical dilemmas almost immediately. This means telling the truth to employees, clients, vendors, prospective employees and the public.’ 
Ronald A. Howard (1992)
Usually, the customer does not have a mature consideration of all the engineer design aspects when they are expressing the demand. But the requirements do shows what they need. The word from the manager “Customer is always right” means even the request of the customer seems to be not that suitable, the customer is always right for that responsibility of the engineer is to optimise the design as much as possible on the premise of safety and the requirement of the customer.
In this case, the able to satisfied the requirement of engineering safety specification, which will result in malfunction. First thing first, the customer is lack of the knowledge of engineering, and it is hard for him to consider the mechanical property when choosing the material. As engineers, they must provide adequate and useful information to make sure the customer can make a decision when understood the advantages and disadvantages of using this kind of aesthetic material. In short, the final decision should be made by the customer when all risks have been stated, which is the truth-telling in business ethics. If the customer insists on the opinion that using the aesthetic material, the engineers should try their best to meet the requirement, minimise the risk at the same time.
Reflection & Conclusion:
The reflection is based on the outcome of several different ethical frameworks that lead to the same most allowable moral conclusion. The engineer should inform the customer all the risks of the bicycle and offer options for choosing.
2. The Ethical Cycle. I. van de Poel, L. Royakkers. 1, s.l. : Journal of Business Ethics, 2006, Vol. 71.
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6. Journal of Management Development. Howard, Ronald A. 4, s.l. : Journal of Management Development, 1992, Vol. 11