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Ethical Analysis

Table of Contents


Ethical analysis.



Executive Summary

An ethical dilemma or the moral dilemma is a problem regarding the process of decision making when two options are equally important but choosing any one of them is not absolutely preferable from the ethical point of view. Boeing 737 Max is the fourth generation aircraft manufactured by Boeing, accused in ethical issue after two fatal incidents. Analysis of the ethical dilemma, the company is facing at present is the core objective of this report.

Question 1

The term "moral judgment" has a significantly different use in ethics. There are two distinct opinions in this context. They are Kantianism and Utilitarianism. Their focus on the moral judgment is different. Utilitarianism says that an action is right when it produces maximum happiness for the maximum number of other people. Clearly, their main focus of moral judgment is the consequence of the action. On the other hand, Kantianism says that an action should be considered as the right action when it goes through the way of goodwill for the other person. Therefore, Kantianism regarding moral judgment is focused on the objective or the motive of the action. Both Utilitarianism and Kantianism are highly relevant in the field of ethical judgment with their own point of view regarding morality.

But conflict starts when an action is creating a dilemma. The dilemma occurs when there are two moral but contradictory options, both of them are equally important and choosing any one of them is not absolutely preferable from the ethical point of view. For example, The safety of the passengers supposed to be one of the main concerns of an aircraft company. But another main concern is the profit in their business which can provide the organization. Both of them are essential. Choosing any one of these options is not absolutely preferable. Thus the organization supposed to give equal priority to these options without doing any compromise. But when such a situation has been created that they have to prioritize one of these options and an unexpected incident happens, the moral conflict starts as an ethical dilemma.

If the aircraft company gives more priority on their business profit over the risk factor of the passengers (the point of view of Utilitarianism) then it may be harmful to the passenger's safety. On the other hand, if they give more priority to the risk factors of the passengers over their business profit (the point of view of Kantianism) and invest more money to make the entire safety system more strong, then it may cause the loss of a great amount of money due to the over expenses. Here is the actual ethical dilemma. Which one option they should choose when both of them are equally important is actual ethical dilemma.

Question 2

Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) has manufactured the Boeing 737 Max which is their 4th generation aircraft series of Boeing 737. This series was announced publicly in August 2011. Without taking sufficient time, after the announcement of this aircraft publicly, they launched it for commercial purposes in May 2017. Boeing 737 Max run the first public carriers commercially were Norwegian Air, of Norway and Lion Air, of Indonesia. The Boeing company delivered a total number of 387 aircraft to their 28 customers within one year of their launching of Boeing 737 Max. After two deadly accidents of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Lion Air Flight 610, Boeing 737 MAX had to stop their aircraft manufacturing and all of their products were not permitted for the flight all over the world(Travica, 2020).

The first accident occurredOn 29 October 2018, Lion Air, of Indonesia was operating a Boeing 737 Max, and the aircraft crashed within the 13 minutes after take-off. The aircraft was full of passengers among them 189 were killed instantly(Cruz & Oliveira, 2020).

The second accident occurred on 10 March 2019, Ethiopian Airlines was operating a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and it crashed within 6 minutes after take-off. In this accident, 157 people were killed instantly(Cruz & Oliveira, 2020).

Question 3

The primary investigation of these two incidents regarding the aircraft of the Boeing 737 Max or it's system, was unable to draw any conclusion officially. Their findings were pointing to the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) of the Boeing aircraft manufacturing industry. They thought that their Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System was mainly responsible for both of the fatal incidents. But then the factor regarding the pilot manual of Boeing 737 Max was not disclosed which was indicating the erroneous data related to the flight system of the plane. All the countries, using Boeing 737 Max were instructed not to use that aircraft during the investigation(Oliveira, Andre & Lopes, 2020).

Further investigation was focused on the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System of Boeing 737 Max as the primarily responsible for those fatal incidents. Various testing and assessment of the various sources within a number of investigations reveal the issues which were directly related to the design of the Boeing 737 Max. The investigation also revealed that the crews, as well as the pilots, were not properly trained about the entire system. Of that aircraft regarding what they had to do when the malfunctioning of the aircraft begins(Bergstra& Burgess, 2019).

Question 4

In October 2019, it had been reported by a number of news outlets that, the chief technical pilot of Boeing 737 Max Had warned one of his colleagues about the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System of the aircraft in 2016, before the safety certification and before the release of Boeing 737 Max. He especially pointed to those problems which were discovered after the total investigation procedure was completed.

A senior engineer of Boeing had filed a complaint regarding the internal ethical issue related to the manufacturing ad the development of Boeing 737 Max. According to him, the organization gave less priority to the entire safety system of the aircraft to minimize their expenditure. Because that equipment was reduced or skipped from the internal body of the plane which he felt were able to minimize the risk of the malfunctioning of the plane. They have ignored this part of public safety to get more profit or to save money. As a consequence of this decision taken by the Boeing aircraft manufacturing company, two fatal incidents occurred. This complaint was filed after two deadly crashes occurred with a number of death and serious injury. Obviously, thus incidents, as well as this complaint against the violation of the ethical aspect, indicates the Boeing aircraft manufacturing company's corporate culture(Wendel, 2019).

Along with this complaint filed by the senior engineer of Boeing, many former and current employees of Boeing have discussed privately the problems of the company's poor design as well as the decision-making process of Boeing 737 Max. The information reveals from their discussion that the managers of the company did not listen to the engineer's advice regarding the strengthening the entire system of the safety. The recommendations of the engineers were dismissed by the managers because their primary focus was the business profit instead of the excessive expenditure of the arrangement of the safety.

The senior engineer who filed his complaint against the Boeing aircraft manufacturing company concerning the ethical issue went a step ahead and lodged another formal complaint calling out the company's chief executive for the misrepresentation to the public regarding the safety of the plane. They have deceived the public for their profit and lead them to death with no safety arrangement in the plane.

The investigation also revealed that the Boeing aircraft manufacturing company had avoided many important components while developing the Boeing 737 Max which also was equally responsible for the fatal accident and death of a huge number of people. These components are very much essential for the safety of the people. These components include the proper training of the pilots in the new internal system of the plane. Not only to save the passengers while malfunctioning occurs, but this was also useful for the lasting of the aircraft. Also, some significant changes required to the Boeing 737 Max to enhance the bearing capacity of the huge load which was not present in that new model the Boeing aircraft(Bergstra& Burgess, 2020).

Mr. Ewbank had complained that the chief pilot of Boeing 737 Max, Ray Craig, along with the other engineers were willing to study the potentiality of whether they can add a synthetic system to the Boeing 737 Max aircraft which can enhance the airspeed of the plane. But the executive of the Boeing aircraft manufacturing company decided to stop them because that action would involve the excessive expenditure of the company which was not expected to them. The potential effect and cost of the requirements regarding the training session would exceed their total expense and thus they may face the loss as the consequence(KONERT, 2019).

Here is the question of the ethical dilemma for the aircraft manufacturing company Boeing. The issue is related to both the motive as well as the consequence. According to the ethical point of view of Utilitarianism, those actions are ethically right which produces maximum happiness o the maximum people. In this case, the net business profit is essential for the ethical point of view of Utilitarianism because it will create a work opportunity for a number of people who will be engaged with that company as the employees.

On the other hand, the motive regarding the safety of the people in which the senior engineer, as well as the employees of Boeing company, indicated is also essential. Now the company cannot choose any one of them entirely(Anderson & Anderson, 2018). If the company arranges the safety program investing a huge amount of money, then it will be the cause of the failure of their company and they will face a huge loss. On the other hand, if they focus entirely on the profit instead of the safety of the people, it may cause fatal incidents with a large number of deaths.

Now, after the two deadly accidents, they want to start their manufacturing company again(Cutler, 2019). The real dilemma is here, what they should focus on.

Question 5

The Boeing 737 Max is a new model in its fourth generation. After launching it has faced 2 fierce accidents which indicate their ethical failure. So, they need to change their corporate culture. They should focus on both the options they have in this ethical dilemma. Instead of giving more priority to the profit, they should be conscious of public safety. Because if they look over the matter of public safety, their business can not run and they have to face the extreme loss as well. They must have to try to arrange the safety program with less load of the expenses.


When an ethical issue arises the organization should focus on the aspect of the human right first. Ethics or morality inner concept. They must listen to their own conscience who have to solve an ethical dilemma.


Anderson, M., & Anderson, S. L. (2018). GenEth: A general ethical dilemma analyzer. Paladyn, Journal of Behavioral Robotics, 9(1), 337-357.

Bergstra, J. A., & Burgess, M. (2019). A Promise Theoretic Account of the Boeing 737 Max MCAS Algorithm Affair. arXiv preprint arXiv:2001.01543.

Bergstra, J. A., & Burgess, M. (2020). Candidate Software Process Flaws for the Boeing 737 Max MCAS Algorithm and Risks for a Proposed Upgrade. arXiv preprint arXiv:2001.05690.

Cruz, B. S., & de Oliveira Dias, M. (2020). CRASHED BOEING 737-MAX: FATALITIES OR MALPRACTICE?. GSJ, 8(1).

Cutler, R. M. (2019). Ten Reasons to Defer Boeing 737 Max Recertification. tech. rep.

de Oliveira Dias, M., Andre Teles, M. B. A., & Lopes, R. D. O. A. (2020). COULD BOEING 737 MAX CRASHES BE AVOIDED? FACTORS THAT UNDERMINED PROJECT SAFETY. GSJ, 8(4).


Travica, B. (2020). Mediating Realities: A Case of the Boeing 737 MAX. Informing Science: The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline, 23, 025-046.

Wendel, W. B. (2019). Technological Solutions to Human Error and How They Can Kill You: Understanding the Boeing 737-Max Products Liability Litigation. Cornell Legal Studies Research Paper, (19-47).

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