(Solved) The Warhead Cable Test Dilemma It was Monday morning at Bryson Corporation's cable division assembly plant. Stanton Wong, the quality supervisor, had...

Open the attachment to read the case study and then answer the 3 questions at the bottom. single-spaced, 1 page.

The Warhead Cable Test Dilemma
It was Monday morning at Bryson Corporation’s cable division assembly plant. Stanton
Wong, the quality supervisor, had been worrying all weekend about a directive he had received from
his boss before leaving work on Friday. Harry Jackson, the plant manager and a vice president of
operations, had told Stanton unambiguously to disregard defects in a batch of laminated cable they
had produced for a major customer, a military contractor. Now, Stanton was wondering what if
anything he should say or do.
Bryson Corporation was a large conglomerate headed by an aggressive CEO who had
established a track record of buying and turning around low-performing manufacturing firms. Harry
Jackson had been sent to the cable plant shortly after it had been acquired, and he was making
headway rescuing what had been a marginal operation. The word in the plant was that corporate
was pleased with his progress.
Harry ran the plant like a dictator, with nearly absolute control, and made sure everyone
inside and outside the organization knew it. Harry would intimidate his direct reports, yelling at and
insulting them at the least provocation. He harassed many of the young women in the office and was
having an affair with one of the sales account managers.
Stanton’s two-year anniversary on the job had just passed. He was happy with his progress.
He felt respected by the factory workers, by management colleagues, and often even by Harry. His
pay was good enough that he and his wife had felt confident to buy a house and start a family. He
wanted to keep his reputation as a loyal employee. He had decided early on that he was not about to
challenge Harry. At least, that was Stanton’s approach until the warhead cable issue came along.
The warhead cable was part of a fuse system used in missiles. In the production process, a
round cable was formed into a flat, ribbon-like shape by feeding it through a lamination machine and
applying specific heat, speed, and pressure. The flattened cable was then cut into specific lengths
and shapes and shipped to the customer, a defense contractor.
As part of his quality control duties, Stanton used a standard procedure called an elevated
heat seal test to ensure the integrity of the product. The cable was bent at a 90-degree angle and
placed in an oven at 105 degrees C for seven hours. If the seal did not delaminate (pop open at the
corners), then the product passed the test. This procedure was usually performed on cable from
early runs while the lamination machine operator was still producing a batch. That way, if there was
a problem, it could be spotted early and corrected.
When a batch of cable was ready for shipment, Stanton was responsible for preparing a
detailed report of all test results. The customer’s source inspector, Jane Conway, then came to the
plant and performed additional sample testing there. On inspection days, Jane tended to arrive
around 9:00 a.m. and spend the morning reviewing Stanton’s test data. Typically, she would pull
samples from each lot and inspect them. She rarely conducted her own elevated heat seal test,
however, relying instead on Bryson’s test data. Stanton and Jane often had lunch together at a
nearby restaurant and then finished up the paperwork in the afternoon.
The prior week, during a very busy time, a large order for the warhead cable came in with a
short turnaround period. Stanton tested a sample taken from an early lot and had good results. But
his testing on Friday revealed problems. Of 10 samples, two failed. That afternoon, Stanton went to
Harry’s office with the failed samples to show him the delamination. Before Stanton could say a
word, Harry called in the production manager and cursed him out. He then turned to Stanton and
said, “Let’s wait and see if the source inspector catches this problem.” Stanton reminded him that
typically the source inspector didn’t perform this particular test. Harry responded, “Well, most of the
samples passed.” Stanton replied, “Yes, but some failed. That shows inconsistency in the lot. The
protocol requires that a test failure be reported for such results.”
Harry had already made up his mind. “Don’t tell me what I can and cannot do! The decision is
mine to make, and what I have decided is that we will see if the source inspector finds the failure!” All weekend, Stanton worried about Harry’s directive. Bryson cables were used to
manufacture fuses in missiles. Stanton thought about several people he knew from high school, who
were now on active duty in a war zone overseas. He thought about possible harm to innocent
civilians or even to U.S. service members if a missile misfired. He wondered if anyone in the parent
corporation could help, but did not know anyone there to call.
Q:
1. identify 3 ethical issues at Bryson Cable, and explain why you think the issues you have identified are
ethical ones.
2. Do you think it would be right or wrong for Bryson Cable to sell the faulty cable to the
customer? Please use three methods of ethical reasoning to support your view.
3. What do you think Stanton should do or say now? Please identify 3 options and provide an argument
for or against each option.

 


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