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From a business perspective working under government contracts can be avery lucrative proposition In general a stream of orders keep coming inrevenue increases and the company grows in the aggregate The obviousdownfalls to working in this manner is both higher quality expected aswell as the extensive research and documentation required for governmentcontracts If a part fails to perform correctly it can cause minorglitches as well as problems that can carry serious repercussions such asin the National Semiconductor case When both the culpable component andcompany are found the question arises of how extensive theserepercussions should be Is the company as an entity liable or do you lookinto individual employees within that company From an ethical perspectiveone would have to look at the mitigating factors of both the employees andtheir superiors along with the role of others in the failure of thesecomponents Next you would have to analyze the final ruling from acorporate perspective and then we must examine the macro issue ofcorporate responsibility in order to attempt to find a resolution forThe first mitigating factor involved in the National Semiconductorcase is the uncertainty on the part of the employees on the duties thatthey were assigned It is plausible that during the testing procedure anemployee couldnt distinguish which parts they were to test undergovernment standards and commercial standards In some cases they mighthave even been misinformed on the final consumers of the products thatthey tested In fact ignorance on the part of the employees would fullyexcuse them from any moral responsibility for any damage that may resultfrom their work Whether it is decided that an employees is fully excusedor is given some moral responsibility would have to be looked at on anThe second mitigating factor is the duress or threats that anemployee might suffer if they do not follow through with their assignmentAfter the bogus testing was completed in the National Semiconductor labsthe documentation department also had to falsify documents stating thatthe parts had surpassed the governmental
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