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Doing Ethics Technique foundations: What is going on?

Software Consultant

A software consultant is negotiating a contract with a local community to design their traffic control system. He recommends they select the TCS system out of several available systems on the market. The consultant fails to mention that he is a major stockholder of the company producing TCS software.

Computer Science Course

Joe is working on a project for his computer science course. The instructor has allotted a fixed amount of computer time for this project. Joe has run out of time, but has not yet finished the project. The instructor cannot be reached. Last year Joe worked as a student programmer for the campus computer centre and is quite familiar with procedures to increase time allocations to accounts. Using what he learned last year, he is able to access the master account. Then he gives himself additional time and finishes his project.

Accounting Software

You have been asked to observe how junior management use new accounting software at a leading city accounting firm. As part of informed consent, staff are informed that they will remain anonymous. As part of your observations, you notice that many of the junior management staff are making a particular data entry error when using this software. These errors are causing the accountancy firm to lose profit. Company policy dictates clearly that workers’ salaries will be docked for clear mistakes leading to loss of company profit. Do you take the edge off the results to protect the people who helped you in the study?

Usability testing

An internal usability team wanted to perform a usability test on a web site using half internal and half external participants. Would the consent form designed for external users also be used for the internals? Some members of the usability team argued that the terms of employment were sufficient to require internals participate. Others argued that the purpose of ‘consent’ was to ensure that participants understood why they had been asked, what was going to happen, what data would be collected, how it would be used and that they were free to leave any time. Given that the company had paid for usability testing, and given that the employees had agreed to work for the company for payment, is the employee free to leave?

The 'Doing Ethics' technique is a process for analysing ethical issues in any scenario. It doesn't guarantee that what you come up with will be the best solution, but it does help you to think ethically. The technique may seem a little vague and perhaps lacking guidance, however the following might help you to understand how to apply the technique in order to better understand ethical analysis.

Analysis of the case using Doing Ethics Technique

This is a synopsis of what the case is all about. It can be taken from a variety of perspectives, for example, from the perspective of a person raising a complaint, in which case, it is a synopsis of the complaint. It can be taken from the perspective of an involved observer, in which case, it is an outline of what was observed, without going into too much detail. Where you see multiple perspectives, you should describe them here.

This is a descriptive list of the facts of the case. This doesn't just describe the case; it lists the facts as they are known (from all sources and perspectives), and also what one might reasonably consider to be possibilities. For example, if a person was raising a complaint, Question 1 would outline their complaint, and Question 2 would provide the evidence to both support and refute that argument. All such facts must be demonstrable or supportable. It would be worthwhile to assign a credibility weighting to each fact, to help with later analysis.

This is a list of ALL the issues that are involved in the case. In Question 5 we can extract only the ethical issues for further analysis, but for now, simply extract and describe every relevant issue you can think of.

This is a list of all the stakeholders involved in the case. This need not be restricted to the ones specifically mentioned in the case; you should consider who/what else might be affected by the issues listed at Question 3, regardless of the degree to which they are affected. In this question, you should describe how each stakeholder is affected, both positively and negatively, and perhaps comment on the degree of effect.

For this question, you need to extract only the ethical issues identified at Question 3. List the ethical issues, discuss them in terms of classical ethical theory (as best you can), and discuss their implications - on the stakeholders and on the community in general.

This question elicits a general idea of what can be done to resolve the case, whether those ideas are practical, possible, or not. Generally what kind of resolutions might there be? You need not go into great detail to answer this question, as its purpose is to provide a basis for answering Question 7, but you do need to think broadly and laterally to come up with several alternatives.

This question requires that you list and describe (in detail) all the possible options that might be available to resolve the case. Be creative here; the most obvious options are not always the best. It's possible that not all options will result in a positive outcome for all stakeholders.

List and describe at least three different options, and discuss the benefits and detriments of each.

In answering this question, you need to assess which of the options described in Question 7 is the best. You are recommending one of several options here, so you need to argue for your recommendation, providing a solid basis in fact and reasonable (and supportable) conjecture. You should add some of your own intellectual property, as an ICT professional, into answering this question. Supporting your argument based on classical ethical theory is not a requirement at this point, but it is what would be expected if you were a professional Ethicist.

Doing Ethics Technique foundations: What is going on?

The foremost purpose of this essay is to focus on the ethical issues in the ICT industry caused due to the implementation of the new technology. The technological advancements have made way for the rise of numerous opportunities in the field of ICT. The increasing demand of the clients have forced the developers to develop systems in such a way so that it is user friendly and the purpose for which it is developed is done efficiently. The ethical issue related to the change in an organization is focused on the essay. In a global ICT Corporation Stephens Australia, the junior management team incorporated new accounting software in the accounts department, as a result, the employees who had less knowledge about its application stared making while entering data which is causing the company to lose its profit scale (Stahl, Eden and Jirotka 2013). The company imposed strict regulation based upon the mistake which is a matter of concern for the employees. This essay will be argued and analysis will be performed as per the ICT ethics (Popescul and Georgescu 2014).  

From the point of view of the management team of the Corporation it can be stated that they introduced accounting software in order to reduce the work load from workers and the loss which are occurring even after the incorporation of the software is making them to make strict regulations for the employees. But like every other new technology the issue related with this software was the junior employees were unintentionally making few errors while using this software in data entry purpose which are misleading the system having an impact on the entire organisation. According to the perspective of junior employee they should have been given knowledge and proper training so that the error for which they are penalised can be reduced or minimised (Tarut? and Gatautis 2014). This case is all about the consequences of an organisational change in terms of a new technology which was unanimously accepted by the employees of the organisation.

The ethical issue raised in this section of the paper is regarding the problems faced by the junior management while entering any data while using a new software in an accounting organisation (Redecker and Johannessen 2013). Complaints arising in this case is from the employees from whom salaries are deducted due to the loss faced by the company. The incident has a dual perspective as no organisation would want their profit margin to get reduced considering all the important stakeholders or vendors so they are making up the loss from the salary of the employees. But this incident needs to be refuted also as the employees from which the salary is deducted have no role to play for the error or the loss occurred by the company.   

Analysis of the case using Doing Ethics Technique

There are different types of issues related to this case such as implementation of the new software by the junior management without knowing the details of its working process so that it achieves the purpose for which it is being utilized in the organisation, the undisputed agreement of the staffs regarding the usage of the new technology without knowing its positive or negative effects on them, the improper handling of the new software by the junior management is one of the most significant issue in this case followed by the loss suffered by the company due to it, the stern company policies for which the employees are suffering is the most crucial ethical issue related to this case

This case involves all the stakeholders of the accounting organisation starting from the senior management who are facing the losses because of the inability of the juniors in the management team, the other internal stakeholders such as the employees are getting affected severely affected by it. Due to this strict company policies many important aspects such as employee motivation and job security of the employee might get affected. The stringent company policies play a vital role in this case also. It negatively affects the workers of the organisation by deducting a significant portion of their salaries to makeup the loss suffered by the companies and at the same it also has a positive impact on the management team as they are regaining some portions of their loss from the employees. This has a direct effect on the behaviour of the employees and also on their professional life and personal life. The ethical issue related to this issue needs to recognised, understood and resolved using an effective strategy management plan.

What are the ethical issue and implications?

The most important ethical issue related to this case is the deduction of salary from the employees for such a reason where they have no role to play. The junior management of an accounting firm has incorporated a new software for optimising their work but they are facing much difficulties in the data entry process while using this software which is causing severe losses for the company, for this reason the management team imposed harsh terms and conditions for the employees and they are made to pay a huge portion of their salary to cover up some portions of the loss suffered by the company (Shyshkina 2013). This unethical issue has stated the importance of the ethical theories while developing the rules and regulations of the companies as every company should be focussing on the morality, they should be understating the perspective of the employees also before structuring the policies as the employees are the most important entities of any business organisation (Cardona, Kretschmer and Strobel 2013). The policies should be evenly updated according to the requirements of the organisation and the market conditions which are changing at regular intervals. The positive and negative effects of the policies should be reviewed and examined before incorporating them. The moral values of the employees should be given prior importance so that the employees feel that the companies are also aware of their feelings (De Vaus and de Vaus 2013). Organisations should also be focussing on the sociological perceptive of the applied ethics so that they can indirectly contribute to the sociological goals.

Possible resolutions and their implications

The solution regarding various issues such as the ethical and non-ethical issues discussed in this section of the paper. Before implementing any new changes in an organisation, a detailed analysis should be done considering several types of factors such as the role and responsibilities of the people of the organisation who are making the changes, causes of resistance of the change should be analysed so that organisation is aware of the perspective of the employees (Appelbaum et al., 2013). There are other several steps which should be taken into consideration so that the issues occurred in this case can be avoided such as the extensive training of all the concerned employees who are about to deal with the new software (Zhang and Venkatesh 2013). The training should be done in such a way so that the employees are also aware of the markets conditions as they can again be subjected to changes and they made be again made to use any primitive software according to the requirement.

There are many ways by which this case can be resolved which are described in this unit of the paper:

Effective policy: The development of the effective policy by the management team has both advantages and disadvantages. The benefit of using this method is to have an idea about the perception of the employees working in the organization and on the other the disadvantage is hiring highly skilled personnel for forming the policies (Leybourn 2013).

Advanced Training: The application of this method to resolve this issue also have many pros and cons. The main advantage is that the employees are aware of the latest technologies used in the market and the disadvantage is that those training need to be conducted with experienced trainers which are not always available in the organization (Noor-Ul-Amin 2013). 

Roles and responsibilities of junior management: The roles and responsibilities of the junior management need to be scrutinized so that form the next time onwards before implementing any new change in the organization it has to be properly checked and inspected (Balocco, Ciappini and Rangone 2013). The disadvantage of this method of resolving the issue is the engagement of the senior management as they are not always engaged in the ongoing of their organization.

Among the three options, the second option which states about the necessity of advanced training by an experienced professional of the organization seems to be the best possible option to resolve the mentioned dispute. The fact that these solutions cannot work every time they are applied in an organization should be always remembered, so the best way to solve this problem is to find an appropriate approach if similar problems arise in future and the training session will be helping the employees to have that perfect attitude.

Conclusion

From this paper, it can be concluded that there are several types of issues related to the introduction of any new change in the organisation. Before implementing the change, a detailed analysis should be done so that the positive and negative effects of the change can be calculated and effective measures can be taken if the situation gets worse instead of imposing severe rules and regulation to the employees who are not involved in any way.

References

Appelbaum, S.H., Degbe, M.C., MacDonald, O. and Nguyen-Quang, T.S., 2015. Organizational outcomes of leadership style and resistance to change (Part One). Industrial and Commercial Training, 47(2), pp.73-80.

Balocco, R., Ciappini, A. and Rangone, A., 2013. ICT governance: A reference framework. Information Systems Management, 30(2), pp.150-167.

Cardona, M., Kretschmer, T. and Strobel, T., 2013. ICT and productivity: conclusions from the empirical literature. Information Economics and Policy, 25(3), pp.109-125.

De Vaus, D. and de Vaus, D., 2013. Surveys in social research. Routledge.

Leybourn, E., 2013. Directing the Agile organisation: A lean approach to business management. IT Governance Ltd.

Noor-Ul-Amin, S., 2013. An effective use of ICT for education and learning by drawing on worldwide knowledge, research, and experience: ICT as a change agent for education. Scholarly Journal of Education, 2(4), pp.38-45.

Popescul, D. and Georgescu, M., 2014. Internet of Things–some ethical issues. The USV Annals of Economics and Public Administration, 13(2 (18)), pp.208-214.

Redecker, C. and Johannessen, Ø., 2013. Changing assessment—Towards a new assessment paradigm using ICT. European Journal of Education, 48(1), pp.79-96.

Shyshkina, M., 2013, June. Emerging technologies for training of ICT-skilled educational personnel. In International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies in Education, Research, and Industrial Applications (pp. 274-284). Springer, Cham.

Stahl, B.C., Eden, G. and Jirotka, M., 2013. Responsible research and innovation in information and communication technology: Identifying and engaging with the ethical implications of ICTs. Responsible innovation, pp.199-218.

Tarut?, A. and Gatautis, R., 2014. ICT impact on SMEs performance. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 110(0), pp.1218-1225.

Zhang, X. and Venkatesh, V., 2013. Explaining employee job performance: The role of online and offline workplace communication networks. Mis Quarterly, 37(3), pp.695-722.

Cite This Work

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