The Role of Moral Emotions among Software Engineers in Value-Decisions during Engineering Design Phases

An Exploratory Study

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Emotions and moral values have gained attention in recent researches in philosophy and ethics of engineering. This is due to its usefulness in assessing the technological risks imposed towards its user or society. Furthermore, moral emotions assist in reflection of moral values and research stress upon involving emotions in design practices. Moreover, researchers argue that engineers are the people who spend the most time with the development of technology. Thus, they must consider their emotions to influence moral values to mitigate risks that are associated with the technology. However, to what extent this prevails among engineers was not clear. Thus, through the use of semi-structured interviews with software engineers, this exploratory research shows the underwhelming role of moral emotions among engineers. The findings also showcase the perception of software engineers towards the involvement of moral values as something insignificant in the design practices. Lastly, this research recommends acknowledging the emotional responses of engineers by the management, training engineers as virtue ethicists and encouraging imaginative capacities and drawing attention to values for engineers during engineering design phases.