See also Research ethics.
Luban, D., Strudler, A., & Wasserman, D. (1992). Moral responsibility in the age of bureaucracy. Michigan Law Review, 90(8), 2348–2392. doi:10.2307/1289575
If you are part of a large, complicated organization involved in a large, complicated project, and that project results in immoral or illegal activities, how responsible are you? You may not have had complete information; you may not have known how subordinates would implement your orders or what superiors were up to; you may not have been informed of the consequences of actions. Argues that, nonetheless, you should have a responsibility to try to find out what is going on and to report potential problems to superiors. I wonder if there is an analogy to safety: airline pilots or ship’s captains have final authority over their craft so responsibility is not spread out but is concentrated in one person who has the authority to take action to prevent unsafe conditions. This avoids complicated system failure cases where no one person seems responsible. Should there be a moral equivalent as well?