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You are a senior civil engineer in charge of a very big road project. You find that project contractor is working honestly and strictly as per the work schedule and also maintaining the quality of work. Suddenly his only son met with an accident and hence he is preoccupied in his treatment. The project got delayed and the quality of work got slightly affected. Your subordinates are putting pressure on you to take strict action against the contractor.  What are the various options available to you? Evaluate the merits and demerits of each option and choose the option you would adopt, giving reasons.

Topic: Case study

7. You are a senior civil engineer in charge of a very big road project. You find that project contractor is working honestly and strictly as per the work schedule and also maintaining the quality of work. Suddenly his only son met with an accident and hence he is preoccupied in his treatment. The project got delayed and the quality of work got slightly affected. Your subordinates are putting pressure on you to take strict action against the contractor.  What are the various options available to you? Evaluate the merits and demerits of each option and choose the option you would adopt, giving reasons. (250 words)

Why the question:

Case study based question.

Key Demand of the question:

The question involves the case of ethical dilemma and decision making.

Directive:

Evaluate – When you are asked to evaluate, you have to pass a sound judgement about the truth of the given statement in the question or the topic based on evidences.  You have to appraise the worth of the statement in question. There is scope for forming a personal opinion here.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Start with the fact that the projects contractor had been working honestly and strictly and also maintaining the quality of work prior to the time his son met with an accident.

Body:

Start by discussing the options available before the civil engineer –

  1. He can ask to the laborer head (sub-contractor) to give reasons for poor quality and tell him that action will be taken if he does not give consideration to matter. But the demerit lies in the point that the sub-contractor might take advantage of the situation on the pretext that he does not have necessary authority.
  2. The subordinates should be called to give explanation about the delay in the project and the poor quality. This will help in ensuring accountability. But it is possible the subordinates might take the engineer lightly. Also in the element of suspicion, the engineer might accuse wrong man.
  3. The civil engineer should himself carry out investigation into the matter as to why the quality of the work deteriorated and take remedial action. This requires carrying out a fair investigation.

Then examine each of the option and suggest your opinion.

Conclusion:

Thus, the civil engineer should first try to seek the cooperation of the subordinates and carry out an investigation into the matter since the son of the contractor is ill and the contractor had been honest in his work, so some time can be given but it should not be in general in the road projects.