|Type of paper:||Research paper|
|Categories:||License Army Ethical dilemma|
The Army's vehicle fleet is comprised of over two hundred different model types and variants of trucks. A Master Driver is tasked with instructing and training drivers for the army for each fleet. To operate a piece of equipment, a Master Driver must give instructions, training, and testing on that specific model type and variant for a person to be licensed to drive. When every step of this process of training and testing is done to the letter, the process can take up to two weeks to get it accomplished on one piece of equipment. However, like every other resource in life, time is limited in the military profession. With limited time to conduct this training due to all other mandatory requirements mandated by the unit's leadership, the Master Driver is forced to cut corners by just licensing soldiers on every variant on that type of vehicle without actually conducting the training and testing, thereby running the risk of having unqualified operators behind the wheel. This paper will demonstrate how the size of the workload in the military vehicle licensing department creates an ethical dilemma for the Master Driver in the army and the risk posed on both internal and external stakeholders by this dilemma.
The army employs a large workforce across the US with its presence inside and outside the US. Like any other organization, there are a plethora of activities and departments within the army where different people take specific tasks and transport ranks among some of the most crucial departments. Some of the key personnel in this department include the Master Driver, the drivers, and the mechanics. They all ensure that the army's fleet that is comprised of over two hundred different model types and variants of trucks is kept running and well maintained. The ethical dilemma is brought about by the fact that the Master Driver is forced by circumstances to cut some corners by just licensing soldiers on every variant on that type of vehicle without actually conducting the training and testing, thereby running the risk of having unqualified operators behind the wheel.
Frederick T Leong (2008) defines an ethical dilemma as a moral situation whereby a choice needs to be made between two or more equally alternatives that are undesirable. Often, dilemmas arise out of the course of work and may be caused by the conflict of personal values, personal character failures and organizational goals versus social values among others. No matter what the person facing the dilemma does, some ethical principles must be compromised (Leong, 2008). Ethics, on the other hand, are well-grounded standards of wrong and right that dictate what a person in a particular position or human beings, in general, ought to do. These are often put in terms of benefits to the society, rights, duties, and fairness among others.
Ethics outline a platform to establish what conduct is wrong or right for the individual as well as broader groups in society. Hence, an ethical dilemma comprises of an ethical violation (Trevino & Wilson, 2011). Choosing any of the alternatives involves the sacrificing of a principle that they believe in. In this case, the Master Driver is faced with an ethical dilemma because his duty should entail instructing, training and testing of army drivers for each fleet of the over two hundred different model types and variants of trucks that the army owns.
Ideally, this process should take up to two weeks for one piece of equipment. However, the Master Driver has limited time because he or she also has other duties. Hence, to keep the large fleet of trucks operational, the Master Driver is forced to just license soldiers on every variant on that type of vehicle without actually conducting the training and testing, a decision that is considered unethical.
The deontology ethical theory is a class of ethical theories that states that individuals should adhere to their duties and obligations when involved in an ethical dilemma in decision making (Pollock, 2012). This means that the individual should follow his obligation to society or another person because that person's duty is what is considered to be ethically correct under this theory. An individual who prescribes to this theory is likely to come up with decisions that are very consistent because the outcome is based on the duties of that person. The deontology theory is one of the important theories in making decisions where an ethical dilemma exists. Deontology theory is an example of traditional ethical theories.
The utilitarian theory is based on a person's ability to predict the consequence of his or her action (Tannsjo, 2013). To the person who adopts this theory, the decision that results in the greatest benefit to the most people is the one that is taken to be ethically correct. The person is required to make the decision regardless of social constraints such as laws or personal feelings. However, the utilitarian theory is not concerned with beneficence or justice rather than the choice that results in the greatest benefit to most of the people. The utilitarian theory is one of the oldest theories in ethics.
Virtue theory is one of the modern theories in ethics. This theory judges a person by his character rather than by an action that may come about due to deviation from the person's normal behavior. The theory takes into account the person's motivation, reputation, and morals into account when judging an irregular and unusual behavior that is considered unethical (Alfano, 2015). Its major weakness is that this theory does not take into consideration the said person's change in moral character.
Ramifications of Potential Solution
Following the three outlined ethical theories above, there are several potential solutions that the Master Driver has and are accompanied by various ramifications for him. In line with the deontology theory, the Master Driver should comply with the guidelines on how he should train drivers to the letter. Hence, he would train each batch of army drivers to the specifications of one truck model before moving to the next model. Training for each model should take about two weeks. The ramification of this potential solution is that it is simply illogical. For example, it would take about four hundred weeks to train one group of army drivers. The Master Driver would be unable to attend to his other mandatory requirements mandated by his unit's leadership.
On the other hand, the Master Driver can adopt the utilitarian theory. For example, he can choose to put the welfare of both internal and external stakeholders as a priority. This choice would ensure that less time and money is used up in repairs, each unit would be ready for missions and tasks and the general public would be safe due to well-trained drivers handling the machines. In turn, the Master Driver would almost certainly be overworked.
One of the ramifications of this theory is that the decision would certainly achieve the maximum good for most of the people involved. However, the rights of the individual Master Driver would be infringed upon so that the majority of the people can benefit. In other words, there would be no autonomy, beneficence or justice for the Master Driver as long as the majority gets to benefit from his oppression.
Lastly, the Master Driver can lean on the virtual theory to make a decision. Whichever decision he arrives at, his seniors and peers would judge him by his character based on his reputation, morals and motivation. To his benefit, even if he arrives at the wrong decision, the people who know him would back him up. However, the theory does not take into consideration the possibility of him changing his moral character and exposing people to danger.
The paper sought to demonstrate how the size of the workload in the military vehicle licensing department creates an ethical dilemma for the Master Driver in the army and the risk posed on both internal and external stakeholders by this dilemma. As examined, the Master Driver in the army has to make an ethical decision based on the number of available hours for instructing, training and testing of drivers against a very large fleet of different truck models and variants which puts him in an ethical dilemma position. As the Truck Master, I can contribute to the alleviation of the problem by offering the recommendations to the Master Driver to stick to the rules as per the deontology theory. While I may be criticized for overstepping my role, I would handle the situation by advising him that his decisions affect my role as the Truck Master and we are both responsible to the units we serve and the Unites States Army and our role is not to make rules and laws but to obey them.
Alfano, M. (2015). Current Controversies in Virtue Theory. New York: Routledge.
Leong, F. T. L. (2008). Encyclopedia of counseling. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.
Pollock, J. M. (2011). Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice. New York: Cengage Learning.
Tannsjo, T. (2013). Understanding ethics. Edinburg: Edinburg University Press.
Trevino, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2011). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do it right. New York: J. Wiley.
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