Gender Discrimination

Influence of Promotional SMS on Consumer Behaviour

The essence of mobile technology and information communication technology has become an integral part of human life. The entry of smartphones has acted as a game changer in most aspects of human lives. The functionality of these phone influences the human experience. Similarly, it also affects the extent to which people make decisions concerning the vital issues affecting their lives. Contemporarily, many people believe that phones are used for functions such as calling and texting.

Nonetheless, the establishment of smartphones has widened the scope of the applications and use of mobile technology. For this reason, the widening range for the use of mobile technology has immensely affected the manner in which people go about their daily lives. The usage of mobile technology extends to offer applications such as photography, social networking, recording videos, emailing, shopping, internet applications and listening to music. Some applications of mobile technology are essential when it comes to market services. The essence of smartphones has become ubiquitous in the daily life of a human being. Therefore, this paper intends to examine the extent to which promotional approaches to marketing use the SMS to influence the consumer purchasing behavior.

The scope of the Short Message Service Promotional Strategy

The technological aspect of cell phones enable the consumers to establish effective communications which help to understand wants and needs of the consumers. The approach to communication allows the marketers to develop a structural approach which capitalizes on the features and benefits of their products in meeting the identified needs and wants of targeted consumers(Hassan et al., 2017). Primarily, the cell phone aspects not only strengthen the relationship of consumers and companies, but it also enables the company to identify the dynamic information about the perception of the customers, purchasing patterns, buying behavior, and consumption patterns. Instrumentally, it can be concluded that the adoption of cell phone technology plays an essential role in changing the relationship between the firms, marketers, and consumers. Therefore, the cell phone technology defined the scope of a positive relationship among three factions to establish a stable relationship with a mutual understanding.

According to Drossos et al. (2013); Kumar et al. (2016); Muk (2007), firms have incorporated the effective use of the Short message service (SMS) to widen their scope of marketing. The step critically affects the purchasing pattern consumers. The SMS promotional strategy takes marketing steps ahead of the traditional marketing approaches. Essentially, the use of SMS enables the marketing firms to approach the targeted consumers all at the same time irrespective of time, place, and space boundaries. Traditionally, the efforts of the firms were restricted to time and place(Varshney and Joy, 2015). Indeed, the firms had difficulties accessing the target segment of the market. However, the establishment of the SMS promotional strategy offered support to the one-to-one marketing strategy which fosters a better understanding of the prospective consumers. One the same note, the SMSs proportional strategy helps firms to communicate their brand equity to the consumers thereby influencing their behavior and buying patterns. In a greater extent, the mobile promotional strategies are implemented by the mobile operator in conjunction with the marketing firms to propagate news concerning featured products and services.

Technically, this aspect of mobile marketing essentially helps the marketing firms to reach a more considerable extent of the target market(Duzgun and Yamamoto, 2017). Even though the promotional strategy looks expensive, it offers a marketing company an opportunity to present a personally convincing communication to the consumers. Even though many people perceive the use of SMS as an opportunity to address a large mass of people at the same time, the use of these strategies creates a platform to instigate a one-on-one communication with the targeted consumer. Most importantly, the use of short message services helps the marketing firms to address the broad range of issues influencing the target market and the potential customers. Comparatively, the SMSs promotional strategy is likened to the mobile marketing strategy.

Moreover, the short message service strategy compliments realms of the mobile marketing strategies. As opposed to sending promotional information to a broader audience, the SMS strategy enables the marketing firms to disseminate information precisely to the customers confined within a particular location at a specified time. Therefore, it is essential to note that this promotional strategy provides a better measure to reach targeted consumers. Additionally, the strategy offers an opportunity to track consumer responses at a lower cost of communication.

The importance of understanding and appreciating personality is essential for most organizations offering products and services to consumers. Andrews et al. (2016) observed that the scope of the SMS promotional strategy helps such organizations to take advantage of the aspect of personality when conducting their promotional activities. The firms taking this approach often initiate an effective marketing approach which influences the behavior and purchasing patterns associated with the consumers (Andrews et al., 2016; Drossos et al., 2013; Lin and Chen, 2015). Nonetheless, the appreciation of individual customized communication establishes precedence for competition. Arguably, the precedence essentially translates to effective campaigns soliciting customer retentions. Besides, the strategy continuously attracts the target market making them change their attitude towards companies’ product and services. Most importantly, the firms must be conscious of the fact that mobile marketing has an imminent influence on the ability of the consumers to decide on certain products in the market.

Most importantly, the marketers should opt for the lessons associated with the theory of reasoned action when indulging in the use of the SMS promotional strategies. In this case, the marketers should associate the SMS promotional strategies with the positive outcomes. The anticipated result must be specific. Consequently, the marketing firm must establish a link between its product and the target market conclusively. For successful influencing choices and preferences of the consumers, the firms ought to strategize how to move the consumer through the pipeline with the help of effective SMS promotional strategies(Kumar et al., 2016; Shareef et al., 2015; Varshney and Joy, 2015). Similarly, it is the primary duty of the marketers to establish a well-constituted communication seeking to change the perception and choice of the consumers. Instrumentally, the SMS promotional strategies should create an impression on the consumers by giving them room to contemplate purchase choices and preferences.

Furthermore, the SMS promotional strategy features informativeness. The scope of the promotional strategy strategically informs the consumers of the product alternatives yielding the same satisfaction. Nonetheless, the quality of information embedded in the SMS promotional strategy should produce a direct influence on the perception and decision-making ability of the consumer. In such a case, the firm carrying out promotion stands an opportunity to capture the market targeted in the promotional services. In order to establish resourceful and informative product in a promotional drive, the firm must convey the information directly to the target consumers.

Additionally, the information disseminated through the short message services should reflect the qualitative features, usefulness, and timelines to the targeted consumers. Equally important, the firms promoting their products ought to consider the fact that the contemporary markets rely on quick information to make decisions which influence the behavior and purchasing patterns. Therefore, the firms are obliged to deliver automatic communication to the consumers. The preference for quick access to information plays a necessary role enabling the consumers to fulfill the unlimited needs and wants. Consequently, the SMS promotional strategy establishes a potential two-way communication which fosters the mutual relationship between the entities carrying out marketing and consumers. Notwithstanding the importance of the SMS aspect of mobile technology, the firms must tailor their communication to meet the interest and needs of the consumers. Therefore, it can be concluded that to create an impression on the consumers, the information supplied must be considered valuable to enable the consumers to react positively.

The effects of the SMS promotion on the Consumers Choices and Behaviour

SMS-based marketing is a bundle with potential benefits since the advertisements are time and location-based. Duzgun and Yamamoto (2017) believed that the aspect inherently fosters the aspect of one-on-one communication which is essential for influencing the scope of consumer behavior important in marketing. Even though people repulsed the ideation behind the SMS-based marketing, the larger population is coming to terms with the fact that SMS promotional strategy advances the scope of product marketing. As people begin to understand the scope of SMS-based promotions, several challenges affecting the efforts of the marketers have been surfacing. The significant challenges include issues to do with the security, authenticity, privacy, and annoyance which result from the messages which people receive from the promotional desks. These aspects may instrumentally affect the effectiveness of the use of the SMS in promotion to carry out marketing.

The SMS marketing applies the use and gratification theory to influence the perspective of the consumers. The marketing aspect of the SMS prominently executes psychological and behavioral utility to control consumer behavior. In this case, the methodology employs the use of mass communication to establish motivation and need-fulfilling information intended to change the perception of the clients. In order to leverage the goals of promotional strategies, the SMS advertising use entertainment, irritation, and informativeness as the ultimate dimension to influence the perception of the consumers. Nonetheless, the use and gratification theory continually stepped up the motivation of the consumers. The aspects such as informativeness, irritation, entertainment determine consumer reaction upon the receipt of the intended promotional information. Therefore, it is formidable to assume that the SMS advertisement and promotional strategies are extensions of the use and gratification.

Similarly, the concept of SMS advertising employs a strategic model which exploits the scope of the theory of planned behavior. In this case, the SMS advertisement seeks to influence the attitude, belief, and intentions of the target market. Ordinarily, the consumers have a set of beliefs and attitude which determine their response towards a particular product in the market (Drossos et al., 2013; Duzgun and Yamamoto, 2017; Lin and Chen, 2015; Varshney and Joy, 2015). This fundamental idea behind the short message also resonates as with the context of the theory of reasoned action. The framework of the SMS advertising conceptualizes the consumers’ attitude as consequences of the beliefs of the individual consumers within the target markets. However, it is the responsibility of the marketers to seek the ways through which they purposely address the subjective norms which profoundly impacts the behavior of the individuals.

For this reason, many marketers have used short message services to impact positively on the behavior of the consumers. The scope of the advertisement uses perceived behavioral control and individual’s intentions to assess the impact of the SMS promotional strategies on the target market (Andrews et al., 2016). According to the theory of planned behavior, the behavior of an individual is influenced by his belief, subjective norms, and attitude together with other controllable factors. Therefore, the SMS promotional strategies often change the individual perception through the invocation of attitude, beliefs, subjective norms and other factors which can be controlled.

The marketing patterns have shown that the attitude of individuals determines the behavioral intentions when it comes to marketing. Nonetheless, the marketing patterns also exhibit a positive correlation between the attitude of an individual and the intention to purchase products advertised. On the other hand, the aspect of the subjective roles helps the marketers to formulate SMS communications which invoke the subjective norms which otherwise determines the intentions of an individual to consume particular products. According to Andrews et al. (2016), the scope of the SMS-based marketing uses mobile technology to influence the intentions of people thus making them rethink their decisions concerning the product under the influence of marketing promotion. Therefore, the scope of the theory planned behavior provides a context through which the SMS-based marketing can influence the fundamental aspects of humanity such as subjective norms, attitudes, and behavioral controls whose impacts affect the individual’s intention to purchase particular products.

The consumer perception to make a decision is an essential element which most of the marketing strategies target. Mostly, the regulatory focus theory addresses the importance of consumers’ perception in making decisions. It is worth appreciating the fact that the ability of the consumer to make a decision stems from different motives. According to the theory, the short message service inspires motivation in two ways. The SMS-based marketing purposes to achieve its desired aspiration through proper communication of the desired goal concisely and precisely (Hassan et al., 2017; Kumar et al., 2016; Shareef et al., 2015). Correspondingly, the SMS-based marketing instrumentally seeks to address the perceptions which may lead to the achievement of the negative results. The theoretical framework of consumer behavior makes use of the regulatory focus defining the extent to which consumers regulate their consumption decisions.

On the other hand, the SMS-based marketing adopts two strategic dimensions to influence the consumer response to their products. The approach to marketing applies both the prevention and promotional focus which is essential for maintaining and increasing the consumer market share. The promotional focus is a motivational approach inspiring the target market to incline towards product and services of the marketer. The SMS-based marketing strategies encourage the target market to try out the new products and services to get the desired outcomes(Hassan et al., 2017; Kumar et al., 2016; Shareef et al., 2015; Varshney and Joy, 2015). During such scenarios, the effect of the SMS market is best seen when the targeted consumers portray self-regulations. Consequently, the majority of the consumers strive to maximize the chances of obtaining a desired positive outcome. The prevention focus of the SMS-based marketing strategy inspires consumers by ensuring that they don’t experience any loss at the moment of making their consumption decisions. The SMS promotional approach instigates precautionary step to reduce the chances of an adverse outcome occurring. In as much as the regulatory focus of the consumer seems long-termed, the effect of the SMS-based promotional approach often inspire temporary motivation which changes the way in which the target market responds to the marketing campaign drives.

The SMS marketing ensure advertising credibility. Generally, consumers are sensitive concerning the perception of truth and believability concerning the promotional strategies used by most of the marketing firms. For this reason, the SMS marketing strategy influences the behavior of the consumer through the application of the two fundamental aspects namely credibility of the advertiser and that of the advertisement itself. The two components are essential for casting away the probable doubt which may cloud the mind of the prospective consumers. The advertiser’s credibility addresses the company as a credible source of information and responsible for the consequences of the information put across. On the other hand, the credibility of advertisement validates the content presented to the consumers. It is important to note that the credibility of the SMS marketing strategies instrumentally determines the response of the target market. According to (Hassan et al., 2017; Kumar et al., 2016; Lin and Chen, 2015)The aspect of credibility bears significant influence on the perception of the consumers regarding the information conveyed through SMS promotional approaches to marketing. Correspondingly, the customers can validate the credibility of the information transmitted through the media or the channel used. According to this assertion, people tend to perceive the Short message services as more credible than the printed sources of information. Credibility is a necessary component of marketing. Nonetheless, the SMS-based marketing strategies employ the aspect of credibility to establish a positive influence which has realized several changes in the behaviors of the consumers.

The consumers often receive the personalized SMS more positively compared to the mass communication messages. This aspect insinuates that the use of customized SMS promotional strategies leaves a favorable impression of on the target market. (Hassan et al. (2017); Kumar et al. (2016); Lin and Chen (2015); Varshney and Joy (2015), the SMS promotional strategies enabled marketers to create customer loyalty through the establishment of one-to-one communication which has a positive impact on the target market. The application of this form of one-to-one communication emanates from an understanding of the individual needs of the consumers thereby helping to solve those needs empathetically. Following the volume of the messages which the consumers receive, they can be perceived as intrusive. In order to dispel the adverse effect, the customizations of the messages act as a possible solution. The approach makes the consumers believe that marketers understand the plight and needs of the targeted consumers. Besides, the personalization of the messages grants the marketers an opportunity to target a particular segment of the market accurately and address their preferences directly. For this reason, it can be concluded that marketing strategies are employing the use of the knowledge of the consumers’ histories, profiles, interest, and needs to influence the consumer decisions and responses successfully. Therefore, the scope of the SMS-based promotional strategies impacts positively on the perception and behavior of the consumers.

In conclusion, the essence of the SMS promotional approach marketing enable the consumers to establish effective communications which help to understand wants and needs of the consumers. Besides, firms incorporate effective use of the Short message service to widen their scope of marketing. Marketing associates the SMS promotional strategies with positive outcomes. However, the promoters must ensure the information disseminated through the short message services should reflect the qualitative features, usefulness, and timelines to the targeted consumers. By doing this, the SMS promotional strategy would inherently foster the aspect of one-on-one communication which is essential for influencing the scope of the consumer behavior important in marketing. Essentially, SMS advertisement seeks to influence the attitude, belief, and intentions of the target market. The SMS promotional strategy adopts two strategic dimensions to influence the consumer response to their products namely prevention and promotional focus. Similarly, the media affects the behavior of the consumer through the application of the two fundamental aspects namely credibility of the advertiser and that of the advertisement itself. Therefore, the approach is essential for changing the attitude and perception of the client concerning the products and services in the markets.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Andrews, M., Goehring, J., Hui, S., Pancras, J., Thornswood, L., 2016. Mobile promotions: A framework and research priorities. J. Interact. Mark. 34, 15–24.

Drossos, D.A., Giaglis, G.M., Vlachos, P.A., Zamani, E.D., Lekakos, G., 2013. Consumer responses to SMS advertising: Antecedents and consequences. Int. J. Electron. Commer. 18, 105–136.

Duzgun, F., Yamamoto, G.T., 2017. SMS Promotion Effects on Consumer Behaviour: A Turkish Case. Int J Econ Manag Sci 6, 2.

Hassan, M.U., Iqbal, A., Malik, M., Iqbal, Z., 2017. The rise of SMS marketing: key drivers, acceptance, and intention to receive advertising SMS in Pakistan. Int. J. Bus. Forecast. Mark. Intell. 3, 337–364.

Kumar, V., Akhter Shareef, M., Kumar, U., Persaud, A., 2016. Promotional marketing through mobile phone SMS: a cross-cultural examination of consumer acceptance. Transnatl. Corp. Rev. 8, 1–16.

Lin, H., Chen, Z., 2015. Influence of SMS advertising on consumer behavioral intention. J. Organ. End User Comput. JOEUC 27, 25–42.

Muk, A., 2007. Consumers’ intentions to opt into SMS advertising: a cross-national study of young Americans and Koreans. Int. J. Advert. 26, 177–198.

Shareef, M.A., Dwivedi, Y.K., Rana, N.P., 2015. Consumer behavior in the context of SMS-based marketing. Mark. Rev. 15, 135–160.

Varshney, S., Joy, J., 2015. Consumer attitudes toward mobile marketing and its impact on customers. Int. J. Inf. Bus. Manag. 7, 44.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“The trolley problem will tell you nothing useful about morality” by Brianna Rennix and Nathan J. Robinson

In this article, the authors delve into the ‘trolley problem’ – one that involves making high-level decisions regarding life and death. In such problems, no one decision can be considered right since every choice leads to a horrific outcome. As the authors observe, the trolley problem goes beyond the ordinary moral choices and is virtually nonsensical. The problem places people in a forced decision-making situation with the outcomes of all the possible choices being tragic. As such, the trolley problem cannot be regarded as a moral dilemma where choices are usually informed by a chain of decision-making activities. Unlike in the moral quandary situations, the trolley problem depicts individuals as helpless victims where everything else has been decided apart from a binary choice leading to horrendous outcomes. Generally, the authors’ suggestion on how to approach the trolley problem offers important lessons on how to deal with real-life ethical problems, but at the same time, it seems to restrict invention, which is innate to human nature, and constraints utility maximization essential for human development.

The authors point out that in situations where people are confronted with life-or-death decisions, the focus should be on the agency responsible for the existing state of affairs as opposed to merely accepting the available choices. In the trolley problem, for example, it is of no significance to think between the only available choices since both of them are tragic. Rather, the focus should be on whether the trolley company is morally justified to take measures with potentially disastrous outcomes in order to maximize profits. Basically, the authors conclude that individuals can become better if they stop wasting time thinking about the trolley problem, but rather examine the larger context in order to find the basis for confronting real-world moral failings.

I think the authors’ conclusion on the trolley problem is highly plausible in light of the problems and policy issues affecting the contemporary society. One such issue concerns the problem of refugees. For instance, allowing refugees into the U.S. would help save millions of lives from various problems such as wars and natural disasters. However, America could get hurt in the process if a few refugees decide to engage in terrorism. Essentially, locking refugees out would help protect American citizens from potential cases of terrorism, but on the other hand, such a move could lead to loss of millions of innocent lives. Notably, each of the available choices in this situation involves potentially negative outcomes; none of the possible options can be regarded as more moral than the other. However, as the authors note, this does not imply absence of an appropriate action. Exercising human agency in the right direction can help address the problem. For instance, taking part in dealing with the causes of refugee crises could help avert the situation.

However, the suggestion that we should not waste time contemplating about trolley problems raises an important question regarding human ambitions and the pursuit of the greatest good as entrenched in utilitarianism. A good example to illustrate this is the case of autonomous vehicles. Developers of autonomous cars have to code a certain value system into the vehicles to help them make moral decisions, for example in a situation where a driverless car has to choose between crashing into a wall and hitting a pedestrian. The authors would recommend a shift in decision making from the current moral issue to the ethics of developing autonomous vehicles. They would perhaps recommend that the technology be abandoned as it inspires a kind of fatalism, but embracing this suggestion would compromise human innate and insatiable desire for invention. At the same time, it would hinder the potential benefits associated with autonomous vehicles such as reduced air pollution. To this end, I feel that thinking about the context in which certain choices occur rather than delving into the disturbing life-or-death decisions may not always serve to meet intrinsic human desires and interests, which may in turn elicit a new ethical issue.

You should have a say in your robot car’s code of ethics” by Jason Millar

In this article, the author explores the question regarding who should control autonomous car’s code of ethics, particularly in relation to moral issues that do not have a right answer. For a solution to this question, the author considers the state of affairs in the modern healthcare setting where patients are informed of their treatment options and then left to make decisions based on their own preferences. Just like in the healthcare setting, the author believes that decisions on autonomous car’s code of ethics should be left to the user as opposed to designers and engineers. However, there should be limits in regard to the kind of ethical controls that should be allowed in robot cars. Absurd code of ethics, for example, one that is based on gender or race in the event of an accident, must be avoided. Generally, the author believes that users of autonomous cars should be allowed to make important decisions regarding various critical circumstances within the autonomous car’s environment based on individual moral commitment. While allowing users to have a say on robot cars’ code of ethics is laudable, such a code of ethics must be subject to adjustment since individual moral values are not stable. Besides, such a code of ethics may escalate the debate over who carries liability in the event of death.

I agree that users of autonomous cars should have a say on the machine’s code of ethics. While the idea of installing such cars with instructions that ensure they do the least harm in line with utilitarianism seems justifiable, it deprives users the ability to act in line with their moral commitment when such moral commitment is in contravention with the utilitarian principle. Just like it is an individual choice to use such cars, the cars’ code of ethics should be based on users’ input and preferences. Despite this, as the author observes, government regulations should be put in place to prevent individuals from adopting an absurd code of ethics that contradicts social standards such as fairness. For instance, no one should be allowed to develop a code that would allow their robot car to swerve only when the person at risk of being crushed is white. Such a discriminatory code of ethics could turn the autonomous car technology into a platform for pursuing malicious social ends.

Allowing users to determine the code of ethics for their robot cars brings about the issue concerning the stability of individual moral preferences over time. Humans have an intrinsic sense of values that are influenced by social morals (social demands and social expectations). This means that individuals may let go the values that they hold today if such values seem to conflict with the prevailing social expectations and demands. Therefore, one’s moral commitment may change from time to time, and as such, users may need to adjust their robot cars’ code of ethics from time to time to make it consistent with their existing moral code.

Even so, allowing users to choose their robot cars’ code of ethics may raise a debate over who carries liability in the event of death. The legal liability rests with the manufacturer in the event that they fit the robot car with a “do least harm” instruction. Who should take liability when the user applies his code of ethics? Apparently, the liability is automatically shifted to the user when the code of ethics is based on his preferences. Nevertheless, the accident itself may be the fault of the manufacturer. On this basis, I feel that the issue regarding the code of ethics for autonomous cars is not as applicable as the issue of informed consent in the healthcare setting. For this reason, I feel that the debate on the ethics of autonomous cars creates a situation with no explicit solution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Millar, Jason. “You should have a say in your robot car’s code of ethics.”

Rennix, Brianna and Robinson, Nathan J. “The trolley problem will tell you nothing useful about morality.”

Death by Design

Technology has had a huge impact on how we as human beings perform our daily duties. It has made our work easier, allowed us to explore in other part of the world, and helped us to conquer diseases, advance our military equipment’s and even predict future events. Unfortunately, technology has also made people to suffer, more so the poor who are disadvantaged through their financial status. Most of the technological innovations that have been designed are often too expensive but are made to be extremely important have in daily activities. For example, the mobile phone, this exemplary innovation eased up communication but was and still is an expensive device (Eric 71).

Langdon Winner, a political theorist provided one of the clearest arguments against the moral neutrality of technological artifacts. He argues that the value of the artifact created arises only when in use rather than in creation. In addition, technology on its own is neutral it only get its evilness from the user. The user defines the purpose of his creation by either doing well or evil using it. Winner gives the example of guns (Eric 77). The slogan Guns do not kill people; people kill people it is explained where a criminal uses a gun, it is then used to glorify evil but when someone who is trying to defend himself from burgers, then the gun is used in good faith.

Albert Speer, the artiest of the Nazi death camps was proud of his achievements during the war. He explained that he was only concerned with pleasing his master, Hitler. Morals and political events did not bother him. Michael Allen, a historian has tried to put a point where he stated that no difference with the Third Reich regime who made technological preference based on efficiency alone and the Nazi fanaticism who made decisions siding with the pursuit of social and political ends.

Ideological considerations brought the selection of modern sewing machine technology in the SS industry. The machines helped in production but unfortunately, it elevated the levels of unemployment (Eric 291). The uprising caused by the early Weimer years pushed for the economic stability in the 1920s. The sewing machine brought a new gender debate where it was seen as a woman’s tool since it did not require many skills to operate it.

The German punching and sorting machine, the Hollerith machine was designed for the United States census by IBM. The machine sorted the Jews from the Germans and assisted the Germans to identify their targets during the genocide. IBM proved their innocence in their participation of the genocide since they were just following good business practice by finding a solution to a problem through technology. They explained that their intention was to make an impact in the construction, transport industry and the complete German economy.

The machine actively brought its vision in action. They had a solution to every problem as long as they were offered cash. It helped the Germans identify the Jews using their names assisting the Nazi’s in their operations although not intentional. They never sold the machines to anyone rather they leased them and maintained them while showing their clients how to use them since they were sophisticated. The machines gave way for the invention of the computer that we use today; unfortunately, it also created a dark history for the Jewish people.

Works Cited

Katz, Eric. Death by design, Science, Technology and Engineering in Nazi Germany. New Jersey. Pearson Longman.

Introduction to Ethical Reasoning-Donald and Werhane

Ethical-decision making refers to the process of assessing the choices at hand and selecting the best alternative in a manner that is coherent with ethical standards. An ethical decision is reached at after elimination of the unethical alternatives available. Good ethical decision making requires competency, commitment, and consciousness. Ethics outlines the manner in which individuals should act. Values guide these actions. Ethical standards are important as they ensure adherence of employees in a business or any other organization. Ethical standards comprise of rights, virtues, utilitarian, fairness, and common good.

The ethical standard of fairness is about treating everyone equally regardless of their position or influence in an organization. The rights approach seeks to respect and protect the morals and rights of every individual who could be affected by an ethical decision. This approach seeks to treat individuals with dignity and fairness, and not as a measure to the end. The ethical standards on virtue necessitate that leaders should establish ethical standards on universal virtues such as tolerance, compassion, and honesty. These virtues should make people improve themselves and success. The common good ethical standard stresses on relationships and the need to have compassion for fellow individuals. Approaches to ethical reasoning include consequentialism, deontology, and human nature ethics.

Consequentialism focuses on the outcomes of human actions, which are assessed in terms of the magnitude to which they attain the desired results. This theory determines if an action is right by the results it has. Consequentialism holds that the better outcome an action produces, the more that act is right (Donaldson and Werhane 5). When faced with a moral dilemma, this theory offers guidance that one should take into account the action that capitalizes on good consequences. This theory is termed as flexible because it can take account of any circumstance. This theory, however, is criticized because it is impossible to determine what the end result of an action will be. Applying this approach can lead to decisions that are unpleasant. In real life use, it is deemed impractical. Utilitarianism is an example of consequentialism

Deontology utilizes rules in differentiating between right and wrong. The Kantian deontology theory states that ethical actions are guided by moral laws. Deontology necessitates that individuals obey rules and follow their duties (Donaldson and Werhane 8). Deontology does not evaluate the benefits and risks of a circumstance. This aspect aids in evading uncertainty and subjectivity because following rules is the only thing required. Kant believed that ethical reasoning should employ principles that apply commonly to all human activities and regard actions that are logically motivated. Deontology holds that the moral worth lies in the act and not on the outcomes of the actions. One disadvantage of this theory, however, is that it can make an individual ignore probable outcomes of his/her actions in establishing what is right and wrong

The human nature ethics theory holds that human beings have intrinsic capabilities that comprise the basic foundation for ethical concerns. In this approach, actions are assessed by whether they advance or obstruct these capabilities. Human nature ethics approach was popularized by Aristotle, who argued that individuals have innate capacities and that man is a social animal. Human nature ethics theory emphasis on the character of individuals in helping to evaluate what can be defined as right or wrong. Individuals exercise moral virtue by restricting harmful cravings and nurturing the advantageous ones. Good education and upbringing are necessary for aiding an individual to promote good behaviors. This theory is however criticized because these capacities are not similar to all humans and one cannot guarantee that humans are generally good. Additionally, critics hold that this theory cannot be used in ethical reasoning because it lacks straightforward rules.

Work cited

Donaldson, Thomas, and Patricia H. Werhane. “Introduction to ethical reasoning.” Ethical Issues in Business. A Philosophical Approach. New Jersey: Prentice May (2016): 1-11.

“Engineering ethics: making the case.”

In this chapter, Harris and colleagues engage in a critical examination of the topics surrounding engineering ethics such as code of ethics, engineering societies, and the potential conflict between professional and personal ethics. The authors explore these subjects in relation to the ultimate role of engineering to people’s lives and well-being and the consequent responsibilities of engineers. Generally, engineers have a role of promoting public safety, health, and well-being while preventing harm on humans and nonhumans and the environment in general. In their professional pursuits, engineers will constantly encounter challenging situations requiring critical ethical reflection as well as expertise, advice, and judicious decision-making.

On this note, the authors make important observations regarding the existing code of ethics in engineering. First, the ethical codes do not give adequate recognition to the key components of the role of engineers, which include promoting public safety, health and well-being. Second, the codes are associated with specific engineering societies, raising question on whether engineers who are not affiliated to any of these societies are bound by those codes. Third the codes focus on engineers’ responsibility and performance at the individual level while ignoring the fact that engineers usually work as a group. Lastly, the existing codes are mainly based on a prohibitive approach and seem to ignore the significance of aspirational approach to ethics in promoting engineering ethics (Harris et al. 11-12). Based on this, it is evident that the existing codes of ethics are not a panacea in maintaining ethical conduct in engineering, hence the need to focus on the aspirational face of engineering as it places emphasis on the more positive as well as welfare-promoting engineering aspects.

Considering the aforementioned limitations of the prohibitive and preventive approach to ethics, it can be inferred that the current engineering ethical codes may promote complacency among engineers. They encourage an attitude where individual engineers consider it good enough to simply do what is stipulated in the code. They reduce engineers’ commitment and inner motivation to go beyond individual responsibility and performance, which would help foster public welfare to a higher degree. Rather than being viewed as an end, ethical codes in engineering should be seen as the beginning in the pursuit of the ultimate purpose of engineering. While engineering codes of ethics express what might seem as the highest professional standards among engineers, it is clear that many engineers exemplify professional and ethical standards that are beyond what is shared by the majority. Therefore, emphasizing on the code of ethics restricts individual engineers from cultivating a level of commitment that goes beyond expectations.

Aspirational approach to ethics perceives the motivational aspect of doing good (beyond prohibitions and avoidance of wrongdoing) as the ultimate approach to promoting public welfare. It promotes discretionary efforts among engineers, which fosters the achievement of the highest goals of engineering. Aspiration ethics serves to foster a positive professional character that give rise to ideal engineers whose highest interest is to contribute positively to public welfare based on their social concern and awareness as well as environmental conscientiousness. This professional character cannot be achieved through a rule-based system of ethics. In other words, the intrinsic desire and motivation to benefit the society by going beyond expectations should serve as the ultimate ethical guide in engineering. Aspiration ethics are relevant regardless of whether engineers are working individually or as a group. Additionally, this approach to ethics transcends the perceived boundaries associated with affiliation to different engineering bodies. It also exemplifies the dynamic nature of the engineering challenges affecting the society. Therefore, this approach to ethics should be promoted across the field of engineering to ensure engineers adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct in the interest of promoting public safety, health and welfare.

 

You should have say in your robot car’s code of ethics”

The burgeoning robotics industry continues to raise important ethical questions. The emergence of autonomous cars, for instance, has brought into perspective the prospect of programmable ethics button. Ideally, autonomous vehicles need to have buttons within them that aid in making ethical decisions. While this is considered an important development, it nonetheless raises a key ethical issue with regards to who should be responsible in making such complex fundamental questions; whether it should be the manufacturer, legislators, or users.

As Millar points out, it is necessary to critically examine the ethical issues related to the ethics button in autonomous cars. Making an ethical decision is a fundamental moral issue yet moral decisions are extremely personal in the sense that no one should make such decisions on behalf of another person. Millar uses the “tunnel problem” as an example of confounding moral issues. In such problems, individuals are confronted with situations that demand quick decisions yet all of the possible decisions lead to terrible outcomes. In the case of autonomous cars, users may be prompted to make life or death decisions, particularly in the event of an accident. Most people prefer that users and legislators, as opposed to designers and manufacturers, be at the forefront in making the complex moral or ethical decisions (Millar). Indeed, users should not be disenfranchised in making such important moral decisions since this would be a violation of their inalienable moral disposition.

The healthcare system offers a case study that is relevant for roboethics. In healthcare, physicians make certain critical decisions based on informed consent. Healthcare ethics acknowledge that patients are rightly justified to make important decisions regarding their bodies. If physicians fail to consider that fact, they may be liable for professional negligence. Originally, there was no informed consent in healthcare. Physicians made decisions based on their professional conviction and judgment without necessarily consulting with the patients on whether a decision is consistent with their interests (Millar). Informed consent has its own bottlenecks, but it has helped in making important and personal decisions in healthcare that corresponds with important moral issues. While informed consent is not meant to make things simple by any means, moral decisions are extremely personal issues that must be made based on one’s own moral understanding and character.

The introduction of programmable ethics button is likely to elicit serious legal issues as far as robot liability is concerned. To regulate robots more effectively, a complete legal rethinking is imperative. Integrating the concept of informed consent is an essential proposition that will help both users and manufacturers in addressing the weighty moral issues concerning product liability. In healthcare, physicians are held liable for making ethical decisions that concern patients without obtaining their informed consent (Millar). Likewise, manufacturers of autonomous cars should be held accountable for denying users the ability to exercise their moral disposition.

Overall, advanced technology continues to raise a lot of issues concerning ethics, and the robotics industry is no exception. The autonomous cars are designed to make decisions on behalf of the user, and there is a general agreement that some of these decisions inhibit the ability of users to apply their moral disposition in critical situations. Therefore, just like in healthcare, there is need for informed consent in the manufacture of robot cars. Essentially, manufacturers should design ethical buttons in a manner that corresponds with the moral preferences of the user. This will help solve the robot liability conundrum.

 

 

Works Cited

Harris, Charles, E., Pritchard, Michael S., Rabins, Michaels J., James, Ray, and Englehardt, Elaine. “Engineering ethics: making the case.” Engineering ethics: Concepts and cases (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2013. (1-20).

Millar, Jason. “You should have say in your robot car’s code of ethics.”

 

 

Analysis- The Engineer as Social Radical

Today, humans have to interact with technology on a daily basis. While technology has served in streamlining different aspects of our existence, its use also comes with a burden; we need to understand that the intentions of its creator and only use it ethically. While it sounds easy to ethically use technology, in practice, this intention is hard to implement. That is why humans need to align themselves to the intentions of the engineer who programmed a specific type of technology as highlighted in the article ‘The Engineer as Social Radical’ (Mathes and Donald 119-125)

When developing tools, engineers have to consider the social, cultural and political implications of its use. They develop guidelines of usage and restrictions depending on these targets. In the last 2 decades, technology has advanced in great magnitudes. Today, we have medical appliances treating people and keeping millions of records safely, and the most familiar technology, social media, is been used by nearly half of the entire world’s population (119). While this technology serves the world greatly, using it without duly considering the intention of their engineers leads to precarious implications which can be realized by an individual, or even the entire society. A good example of a technology with negative implications is social media, which is abused by internet criminals, hackers and even terrorists to mine personal information about people or even propagate other Internet-based crimes and terrorism.

On an individual basis, the technology influences a person’s moral, religious and aesthetic beliefs. Its use influences a paradigm shift within them and it determines how they start relating with other humans. As such, in many ways, engineers have intentionally and unintentionally pushed people to evolve through the civilizations of their minds (120). They have initiated changes which come with unprecedented problems and opportunities as they push people to edge further away from their conservative notions of existence.

As such, by looking around today, one is able to identify how the engineers of technology have influenced their lives in terms of the distribution of power and decision-making abilities, their personal relationships with their community members and even their basic family relationships. Technology affects political processes such as democracy and it allows people to access information in a faster and more efficient manner. As such, the vesting of central power in people is evidenced more as people revolt against unruly leadership where they notice incidents of corruption and the lack of care in their leadership. For instance, technology has helped in conducting a revolt against President Maduro of Venezuela, whose state is undergoing an economic crisis currently. While this predicament is productive for processes of ensuring accountable political leadership in doctrines, social engineers need to learn how it enhances its applicability in order to ensure a balance that the merits of a central governing system are also realized. Technology use has also destabilized communal and familial integration (120-121). With many automated processes, people in many parts of the world no longer sit around singing as they work. As such, it has become harder to foster good human relationships outside of the virtual internet space engineers are been advised to undergo training which helps them understand these unintentional and negative implications of their development as a means of ensuring that there is a balance in how technology is applied, for the purpose of maintaining the essence of human connectivity and relations through the advancement of a new socio-technological system (124-125). These system prompts engineers to be more conservative and socially-conscious since their beliefs are what is translated to the community then radicalized by the users of technology

In conclusion, technology is the representation of the mind of an engineer. Its recent development has aided in enhancing different aspects of human existence, by minimizing the need for human labor and automating diverse aspects of human interaction. While these developments remain positive, at times they can have unintentional implications which negatively affect the society individually, and communally as such, engineers need to be trained so that they are more socially-conscious of the implications of their work on the people.

 

Green Initiative in Newark NJ

According to Gronewold (2008), the task of transforming Newark NJ was difficult and almost impossible since the area had brownfields and blight which has a detrimental effect on plants, animals, and buildings. Making the city green was demanding and time-consuming. The initiative aimed at providing a sustainable environment for the people of Newark. Warren (2018), states that the air quality in the area was dirty due to high levels of air pollution. The pollution posed some hazardous side effects to the inhabitants of the area such as increased levels of respiratory diseases. Contrary to Gronewold belief that change was nearly impossible, Mayor Cory Booker believed that creating green cities was achievable and would lead to the creation of more jobs, a positive change in the economy and most importantly to creation of a safe space which would not only be beneficial to the current generation but to the future one. He believed in sustainability and had a conviction that this was an initiative that would be taken up by other cities as well.

Achieving the aims of the initiative required the government had set up various principles which could be applied during the policy development and implementation of the initiative. The essential principle states that the government should lead from the front. It is natural for people to adapt to something new from seeing what their superiors are doing. For instance, if they involved themselves in cutting down trees, it is only possible for the citizens to get involved in deforestation. However, if they uphold the spirit of afforestation, then that is the same thing that the citizens are likely to do. Secondly, the need for environmental justice in which it insists that everybody is entitled to living in a healthy environment hence change should focus on every community in the municipality. However, it is essential to address the areas that are profoundly stricken then move to the less affected. Thirdly, the usage of local resources should be made a priority when implementing the initiative which will impact positively on the local economic status.

The green cities initiatives aimed at the refurbishment of the already existing buildings and the creation of green public parks. Additionally, it aimed at ensuring that gardening was sustainable and plants got protected from blight, and the establishment of sustainable farms, CDM Smith (2015). Tree planting was one of the aims of implementing the green initiative. Trees are an essential aspect of the environments and have numerous advantages. Trees provide a beautiful and serene setting which is necessary for public parks where people go to relax and unwind. Also, trees absorb stormwater thus reducing soil erosion and flooding thus ensuring sustainable farms. Additionally, they provide habitats and food for wildlife. The city had to identify and carry out an analysis whose aims was identifying the areas in which trees are scarce thus creating an effective method during the planting in which no area will be left unplanted or overplanted. Moreover, the city would generate a spirit to create more trees and introduce ways in which they will be managed and create job opportunities for the locals to take part in the tree planting activities.

The project on the refurbishment of buildings was believed to bring and ignite more job opportunities. Gronewold (2008) states that people would be trained to gain electrical and construction skills. It would translate to improved standards of living for the citizens. Refurbished buildings attract more investors which results in increased business opportunities thus bringing more revenue to the government due to increased taxes. Examples of projects that could lead in ensuring the achievement of green space include; replacement of concrete on traffic triangles with plants and soil, the creation of strips of planted grass on pavements and sidewalks, expansion of green space through curb bump-outs, and installing water retentive plants.

Green Stormwater infrastructure is one of the methods that the city used to attain change. According to City of Newark (2013), the implementation of the GSI has a couple of advantages to the city which include; better quality of water, good air quality from trees, reduced levels of greenhouse effects thus little or no global warming. In addition to absorbing stormwater, the GSI is effective in slowing the rate of discharge in sewers and into the ground. Also, there are reduced construction costs as compared to the other forms of constructions, increased urban greenways, availability of green jobs and high economic levels. Additional to installing the green stormwater infrastructure to reduce flooding in Newark, it was essential for the city authorities to introduce plants that absorb the stormwater and enhance landscaping. In Newark, the green infrastructure policies and projects had a responsibility in assisting the city clean up brownfields thus reducing toxins in the soils which resulted to good farms and reduction of harmful substances that would cause water pollution. Apart from implementing the GSI in the project, it was essential for the city to collaborate with organizations that support environmental change and has similar aims as them of turning green. GSI captures, filters, absorbs and helps in recycling and reusing the stormwater.

The initiative aimed at ensuring green gardens and sustainable farms in the area.

Green gardens and sustainable farms have both economic and health advantages. Economically, more produce gets sold either internally or externally which brings more income to the locals and the government and when government revenue increases, there is the possibility of more development taking part. Additionally, the revenue aids in funding the green initiative especially in installing green infrastructure. Its impacts on health are huge since access to healthy foods translates to healthy citizens.

According to the City of Newark (2013), the lack of affordable healthy foods increased the chances of acquiring diseases which have a detrimental effect on life and affects the citizens working and learning capabilities. The initiative aimed at ensuring that it promotes local food growers, ensure natural resources are protected mainly by insisting on the dangers of using inorganic chemicals on farming and provide employment on the food industry thus increasing their standards of living. Additionally, it aimed at reducing the chances of acquiring obesity, diabetes, and hypertension and a couple of other diseases caused by unhealthy feeding styles. Furthermore, it provided a learning platform to the residents including children in schools and students in higher institutions of learning on how sustainable foods are grown and their overall advantages to their bodies. To achieve the objectives in this element, actions such as the establishment of a food policy council, introduction of urban farming on vacant public land, offering support to the farmers and increasing literacy to all are quite essential.

The success of the project is not something that could happen overnight but through a gradual process that will yield fruits in the future. The fruits could either be economical, environmental and socio-economic such as boosting health for the citizens. However, as Gronewold (2008) states, the initiative was dependent on some factors which had to be incorporated. They included departments relying on each other because the city council cannot affect the change on its own in which the departments would focus on air quality, sustainable economic development, stormwater, and ensuring healthy foods. Additionally, having presentations on sustainability to board members and councils which would aid in creating awareness of why a better and healthy environment is crucial for the residents of Newark. Additionally, the city council had to establish and maintain good partnerships with institutions in Newark especially universities which could come up with sustainable ways to ensure a green environment and economy. Moreover, they needed to involve the residents, community development groups in decision making and in allowing them to share views on what they think about the green initiative.

Selection of the Green Initiative

The increase in production levels in the world has harmed the environment. The production oriented economies have introduced dangerous inorganic substances, thus posing a severe health issue on the lives of people and putting natural resources at risk. The choice of the picked subject is based on creating an environmental awareness on the advantages of having a sustainable green environment. Sustainability does not only have positive effects on the world today but will provide a safe environment for the generations to come. I agree with the initiative on the fact that a green environment is an economic boost element since it increases marketability by attracting investors, provide job opportunities to the locals, and insist on utilizing their resources instead of outsourcing them, thus saving on costs. Additionally, it has immense advantages on the health of individuals both children and adults. It is essential for every state to adopt the Newark green initiative and start a journey in changing the outlooks of their town to make them more beautiful and scenic.

Trees are an essential part of promoting a sustainable environment; hence everyone should take it up as a responsibility to see that trees are protected and not deforested. Additionally, planting more trees is a very noble act whether through re-afforestation or reforestation. The learning of this subject matter has provided me with a clear and more profound knowledge of the dangers of too much stormwater and what a threat it poses on the environment and even physical buildings. Additionally, the green initiative has provided me with insight that it does not only focus on the environment but also on the structures as well. Better and beautiful housing and buildings provide some serenity to its residents and encourage more investments since everybody enjoys working in a conducive presentable building.

Works Cited

CDM Smith. Newark Greenstreets Initiative. Government Report. Newark, 2015. Document.

City of Newark. Sustainability Action PLan. Newark: Office of Sustainability, 2013. Book.

Gronewold, Nathanial. Green Cities. 16 September 2008. Website. 10 March 2019.

Warren, Michael Sol. Not just Jersey City and Newark: All of N.J. suffers from dirty air. News Report. New Jersey: NJ Advance Media, 2018. Document.