Ethics at the chocolate factory

Two women are being trained for work on a factory assembly line. As products arrive on a conveyor belt, their task is to wrap each product and place it back on the belt. Their supervisor warns them
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Two women are being trained for work on a factory assembly line. As products arrive on a conveyor belt, their task is to wrap each product and place it back on the belt. Their supervisor warns them that failing to wrap even one product is a firing offense, but once they get started, the work seems easy. Then the belt speeds up. Recognize the scene? Lucy and Ethel at the chocolate factory is a classic episode from the 1950s television program I Love Lucy. It is also a good illustration of how people make rapid judgments in response to changing conditions at work, devising workarounds – shortcuts, fixes, patches – to bridge the gap between the rules of work and what’s actually happening. When I give talks, usually to physicians, nurses, and other health workers, about the ethics of workarounds, I often use this clip from I Love Lucy, in part because it’s fun to have four minutes of nonstop laughter during an ethics lecture, but mostly because it shows how workarounds happen. Thanks to. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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