GEC Scenario #72C: Shanghai Safety Glasses

This sample scenario is from a collection of 70+ Global Engineering Competency (GEC) scenarios developed for instructional and assessment purposes. For more information, including links to usage tips and other supporting resources, visit our About page.

Your work as an industrial engineer for a major North American OEM automotive parts supplier has landed you at a plant your firm recently acquired outside of Shanghai, China. As a member of an acquisition transition team, you are assigned to work on safety and compliance issues. For several weeks, you have been encouraging workers at the plant to wear eye protection when using certain machines. Yet even after posting signs, making safety glasses widely available, and talking to individual workers, you find that most employees continue to ignore the requirement. What would you do in this situation?

  1. Ask the Chinese plant manager to work with the line managers to enforce compliance
  2. Ask the Chinese line manager(s) to announce the requirement and enforce compliance
  3. Continue to encourage the workers to wear eye protection, as you have been doing
  4. When workers are found not wearing eye protection, scold them in front of their peers
  5. Propose a new system that acknowledges and rewards individuals and groups who comply with the requirement
  6. Report the issue back to management at your company’s U.S. headquarters
  7. Perform a study to find out why the employees are not wearing eye protection

Recommended Uses: INSTRUCTION/TRAINING (see our GEC Resource Guide for additional guidance)

Citation: Jesiek, B. K. and Woo, S. E. (Eds.). (2018). GEC Scenario #72C: Shanghai Safety Glasses. Retrieved from

License: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 1160455 and 1254323. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. We also acknowledge support for this work from Purdue's Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment and Research (CILMAR).