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Background of the Company

Discuss about the Professional Practice And Ethics of Telstra.

Telstra is a leading telecommunication and technology company of Australia. The company offers a full range of communication services. Telstra builds telecommunication networks and provides product and services like mobile, pay television, internet access and more. The company strives to serve customers better than anyone else by not only offering digital connection but digital content as well. The company was established in 1975. The company take a biggest step and form Telstra Digital in 2010, as it knew that it had to extend it’s origins as a conventional engineering culture to the fast paced digital one. Currently it is one of the biggest digital companies in the country and sources some of the best digital talent in the market. It was a challenging decision of company to move from integrated approach to information architecture.

The vision of company is to connect more and more people and provide opportunities. The company has form simple and easy technologies and content solutions which makes Telstra best and largest network of Australia. This report aims at moves taken by Telstra to move from conservative engineering base to a fast paced digital technology. It addresses the ethical implications of the change adopted by the company.

Telstra strongly believe in connecting people which helps company to create more opportunities. So, it has initiated updated and advanced technology which is easy to use as well. The company was previously associated with Australia post as a government department, now it is fully denationalized. Andy Penn, CEO of Telstra is aiming to make company more customers focused by initiating a change program. In 2011, the company declared to develop it’ customer services to social media having 24/7 coverage. Now the company enjoys increase in live chats and the usage of this service has also improved to a great extent (Campbell, 2016).

Telstra is listed on Australia Stock Exchange (ASX) and traded as ASX. In 2016, Telstra engaged 360 retail stores and 300 stores equipped with low energy booth beacons (Campbell, Suessspeck & Hinton, 2018). The shares prices of company have even increased to $6 per share after the privatisation in 2014. The company is further looking to extend it’s market share in the international markets.

The digital business has created conflicts of interest and disruption which is causing company to think more about ethical concerns. The company has changed the way of it’s working by introducing digital applications. The company enable employees to attain high standard business and ethics in the daily conduct of business. The ethical behaviour framework of Telstra offers guidance on the ethical and responsible decision making. The ethical framework is based on the company’s integrity policies like, anti-bribery and anti-corruption, fraud and criminal conduct, conflict of interest and outside activities. The ethical behaviour risk assessment is on agenda with other two business units undertaking risk assessments. The aim of program is to develop an ethical behaviour risk profile for the company (Cohen, 2016).

Analysis of Situations Using Ethics Techniques

Telstra persuades all employees to attain a higher standard of business and personal ethics. The company sets out objectives and monitors performance through the facts available in the company. It is essential for the employees and contractors to complete compulsory training refresher course. The company enables employees with face to face ethical behaviour training across 12 countries. Telstra conducts climate change risk valuation to identify risks in a better way and take actions to promote flexibility within the business (Gaynor, et. al. 2015). It has launched standards for the employees to imply value into the behaviour so that employees become more responsible towards the routine work. The company also conducts training and awareness sessions across the company to promote ethical behaviour.

There are many online services of company which relies on SMS to deliver confidential information such as links for setting passwords, pin number, OTP, banking and email services (García-Avilés, 2014). The company faced issue of messages in 2013 after breaking out fire at exchange. It also caused damage of equipment of company. The personal messages were sent to the random recipients which caused leakage of private data of almost 16000 customers. The privacy act of company was breached by exposing information of customers comprising contact numbers, name and address. The office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) investigated that Telstra failed to handle personal information of customers and revealed the information which was required which was required to use for official purpose only (Tran & Pedler, 2017).

The company offers communication service to 17.4 million mobile users and 3.5 million retail fixed broad band service. The number of customers reached to 16000 who were affected by the incidence. The personal information of customers were leaked from the misdirected messages. It also affected to 1257 silent line customers. The personal information of these customers such as name, address and contact numbers could be searched easily through the Google search. The employees, shareholders and stakeholders of company were also equally affected as the company closed down the software platforms after the incidence occurred (Sauser Jr & Sims, 2015). The other customers also faced problem as they were not able to access the information available on the website in the while time.

The company reveal data online and exposed personal information of customers after fire at exchange. Not only the misdirected messages the company was also threatened by the ACCC for misleading NBN speeds. ACCC also took stand for the vague consumers about NBN broadband speeds. The company has been making use of terms like fast and superfast to recognise it’s services but the speed is out-of-the-way and stops within. The ACCC is initiating to take action if the practices are not going to improve till the end of the year. The employees of organisation are affected in every way. The main problem recognised behind speed is lack of transparency and rigid process. Federal privacy commissioner investigated Telstra and charge fine for breaching privacy so that it does not occur again (Osagie, Wesselink, Blok, Lans & Mulder, 2016).

The decision support system is kind of computer application. The system investigates business data and represents in such a way that day to day decisions can be made easily by users effortlessly. The business analytics is used to organise and improve business processes.  The decision support system puts positive implication on the business (Wilson & Pender, 2017). It can be evaluated by comparing sales figures of one to another week or particular time periods. It describes the significances of different decision alternatives and the previous experiences. It is helpful in improving the decision making process in the terms of superiority and relevance (Moorhead, 2016). It organises the inventory data into the interactive data bases for the sake of time to time analysis. The system is helpful in directing data mining and sharing information with large number of audience. They are beneficial in the smart decision making process into the culture of company (Nicholls, 2017). The disadvantage of using decision support system and business analytics can be assumed from usage of higher cost of the company to use decision support system and business analytics. It is because the system entails statistics, data analysis and information system. So it is must for the company to make huge investment in the information system. It should also noticed that consideration of all aspects of problem is not required in various situations. An effective DSS undertakes all aspects all the time (Lustgarten, 2015). There is availability of business analytics for every company but it is not developed as per the industry. It is required to invest in various business intelligent segments to avail advance data.

The company was ordered to get it’s system audited by June 2013 so that the incidence does not occur again. Telstra took various actions containing closing down of software platforms due to which incidence occurred (National Society of Genetic Counsellors, 2018). The clear policies are created for the central software management. The company reviewed contacts with third parties associated to the personal information handling. The company was charged fine of $10,200 for the violation of ACMA’s codes. There is no set and forget rule of information security and privacy in the digital environment (Lock & Seele, 2015). The company can evaluate and mend security systems on the regular intervals to avoid data breaches. The investigations such as ACMA and OAIC can be utilised to enforce power to fine up to $1.7 million for breaching data of customers.

The data analysis tools finds out various business benefits like new opportunities for the business, effective marketing, better operational efficiency and enhanced customer service. These tools are helpful in gaining competitive advantage. It provides a means of assessing data sets and illustrating conclusions which helps company to take business decisions. It comprises both internal and external sources. The data analysis tools can be tableau, rapid miner, Google fusion tables, search operators and more. The data analysis is an appropriate way to reduce costs and improve productivity. The data analysis tools have capability to transform the company (De Ridder & Eckermann, 2017). It enables an organisation with fast and convenient access to improve business performance and decision making. Telstra can effectively use data analysis tools to gain competitive advantage.  The options provided by Telstra are:

Data and IP: It is an exclusive option which makes a company competitive with the flexible data and IP solutions. It can be assisted by the range of assurance options. Telstra is regularly investing to provide best solutions and to match demand of customers. The IP specialists contributes with the company to provide unique solutions as per the requirement (Lewis & Westlund, 2015).

Broadband and voice: The company offers broadband and voice solutions which is appropriate for the customers. A customer is free to choose among nbn and copper network. Telstra is potential in technologies and innovations to cope up with customers. The broadband service can be easily availed by the customers by taking place order online.

Mobility: The company invents services as per the latest technologies. The company keep on updating itself to offer great mobile experience due to the constant changes in the mobile market. The company offers the best mobile service (Rallapalli, Nwachuku & Valle, 2015).

Application and services: It is expected by customers to accessibility to services which is simpler and hustle free. The customers use digital era service which is the reason company provides advanced network application services (Weeks, 2016). It is helpful in adding value to the customers and generating business opportunities.


It is experienced that from the options explained above, application and services is the best. The 24X7 app offers more control and helps to manage bills. The customers get the bill notification after getting bill ready. The instant account status assists to view account balance and check the estimated usage. The bill history can also be checked by viewing summary of last 8 months. It also empowers to view mobile data usage, manage data allowance and data pack can also be added by the app. The international roaming and day pass can be accomplished by monitoring data usage at the time of using handset overseas. It is the best possible option to buy as customers can manage by themselves (Johnston, 2017).

The utilitarianism is a kind of ethical theory which states that something is right from wrong. It emphases on outcomes and when something is produced for the large number of group of people. This theory attentions on the humans and performs the actions only which are good for them. It believes that something is alleged to be good in it. This theory is used mainly in the company in a way to account for cost and reimbursements. It explains whether the actions taken by company is good or bad and moral or immoral (Grishin, 2014). The theory also ensures that least harm is reached to the involved employees. It is applied to the certain actions which are known as act utilitarianism. It brings out the cause of happiness and implements it into the rules. The utilitarianism is a kind of consequentialism. Telstra makes use of utilitarianism at the time of issue faced by fire exchange. The misdirection resulted in sharing confidential information of customers with other persons. The information comprised name, contact number, address, passwords and banking services. It damaged equipment of company. It caused Telstra to close down it’s software platforms. In such a scenario, utilitarianism could be used to bring out the good from by emphasising on the outcomes. It could responsible for compensations. It is going to ensure that the action taken for shutting down software is good or bad (Ikonen, Luoma-aho & Bowen, 2017). The theory is also helpful to harm least to the involve customers. It could be possible by tracking number of customers on which the misdirected messages were delivered and actions can be taken against the persons who misused the information.

The employees need to be managed at the time of such issues. It has been noticed that employees are shaken at such issues and prefer to leave the company. The employees can be managed by focussing on right things of company and by concentrating on the outcome. It is tries to harm less to company due to such issues. It assists in analysing ethical aspects of company. It advices business sectors to take actions and advices on the benefits which are greater for the employees (Gregory, 2015).

The performance of company evidences that it is committed to IT governance, standards and frameworks. It is vital for the company to protect interest of shareholders for the long term performance of the organisation. The governance frameworks have an important role in delivering strategy of business. It offers the structure to achieve performance. The governance at Telstra includes shareholders, board committee, accountability frameworks, healthy system of risk management and code of conduct.

The company maintains clear communication with the shareholders. Telstra believes in two way communication to provide relevant and efficient information to shareholders. The company take a lot of initiatives to promote communication with the shareholders. It helps in boosting permission in the meetings. It includes retail shareholder information sessions, electronic communications, investor seminars and webcast company events (Gerrand, 2017).

The board of directors are responsible to manage business and are accountable to the shareholders for the actions. The responsibilities of board of directors are to approve digital innovative plans, monitor application of strategies and performance against the plan of company. The directors are accountable for the appointment and valuation of the performance of CEO. They decide the remuneration and approval of appointments. The super managers are also appointed by them. It is the responsibility of board of directors to manage financial position and approve decisions related to the capital management (Gregory, 2017). It includes buy back of shares and dividends. They also regulate overall remuneration framework.

Conclusion and recommendations

It can be concluded from the report that Telstra is one of the leading telecommunication company of Australia. The company has transformed it’s functioning by undertaking major decisions to transform from engineering culture to the digital. It was one of the critical decision taken by the company. The company is successfully conducting it’s operations. The 24X7 app delivers the best customer control. Telstra took immediate steps to stop SMS counter service due to the fire occurred at exchange to avoid misdirection of messages.

The digital communication is not a onetime process, it should be updated time on time. Whenever the issue or emergencies occurs, the company should be stopped for the short period so that problem could be solved in the meanwhile. The misdirection caused at Telstra was result of power outage and caused fire at exchange. The company is required to follow the data privacy to secure the personal data or information of customers. The company is suggested to stop SMS service and held the messages till the surety of the reliability of messages. The members of external organisations such as transparency international Australia addresses the ethical behaviour issues of company. The company is not required to pay fees to the political parties for the events organized on the major policy issues. The company is required to take all the necessary measures to avoid such incidences. The defiance and ethical behaviour training can be provided by the company to recognise risks which can further result in the big incidence. Telstra is recommended to conduct awareness sessions face to face ethical behaviour training for the employees to enhance flexibility of operations.

References

Campbell, L.H., 2016. The NBN from 2009 to 2016 and beyond: A commentary on Mike Quigley's June 2016 address to the Telecommunications Association. Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, 4(2), p.1.

Campbell, L.H., Suessspeck, S. and Hinton, K., 2018. The National Broadband Network. Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, 6(1), pp.1-25.

Cohen, A.I., 2016. Ethics and professional practice. In Practicing Professional Ethics in Economics and Public Policy(pp. 237-244). Springer, Dordrecht.

De Ridder, J. and Eckermann, R., 2017. SafetyNet: A new approach to rural and remote communications. Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, 5(3), p.1.

García-Avilés, J.A., 2014. Online newsrooms as communities of practice: Exploring digital journalists' applied ethics. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 29(4), pp.258-272.

Gaynor, G.B., Janvrin, D.J., Pittman, M.K., Pevzner, M.B. and White, L.F., 2015. Comments of the Auditing Standards Committee of the Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association on IESBA Consultation Paper: Improving the Structure of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants: Participating Committee Members. Current Issues in Auditing, 9(1), pp.C12-C17.

Gerrand, P., 2017. Historical paper: The 2004 proposal for the structural separation of Telstra. Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, 5(4), p.70.

Gregory, M.A., 2015. Telecommunications disruption. Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, 3(2), p.ii.

Gregory, M.A., 2017. Telecommunications is an essential service. Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, 5(4), p.ii.

Grishin, S., 2014. Togart Contemporary Art Award; The Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. Craft Arts International, (90), p.115.

Ikonen, P., Luoma-aho, V. and Bowen, S.A., 2017. Transparency for sponsored content: analysing codes of ethics in Public Relations, Marketing, Advertising and Journalism. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 11(2), pp.165-178.

Johnston, A., 2017. Privacy law: Data, metadata and personal information: A landmark ruling from the federal court. LSJ: Law Society of NSW Journal, (31), p.82.

Lewis, S.C. and Westlund, O., 2015. Big data and journalism: Epistemology, expertise, economics, and ethics. Digital Journalism, 3(3), pp.447-466.

Lock, I. and Seele, P., 2015. Quantitative content analysis as a method for business ethics research. Business Ethics: A European Review, 24(S1).

Lustgarten, S.D., 2015. Emerging ethical threats to client privacy in cloud communication and data storage. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 46(3), p.154.

Moorhead, S., 2016. The Telstra Research Laboratories. Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, 4(4), p.1.

National Society of Genetic Counsellors, 2018. National Society of Genetic Counsellors code of ethics. Journal of genetic counselling, 27(1), pp.6-8.b

Nicholls, R., 2017. The Australian Telecommunications Regulatory Environment: An overview. Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy, 4(4), pp.196-213.

Osagie, E.R., Wesselink, R., Blok, V., Lans, T. and Mulder, M., 2016. Individual competencies for corporate social responsibility: A literature and practice perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 135(2), pp.233-252.

Rallapalli, K.C., Nwachuku, S. and Valle, M., 2015. International Marketing Ethics: Challenges in Developing Global Code of Ethics. In Proceedings of the 1996 Multicultural Marketing Conference (pp. 146-147). Springer, Cham.

Sauser Jr, W.I. and Sims, R.R., 2015. Techniques for preparing business students to contribute to ethical organizational cultures. Handbook of research on business ethics and corporate responsibilities, pp.221-248.

Tran, N.H. and Pedler, D., 2017. The impact of extensive loss of telecommunications on general practice: A case study in rural Victoria. Australian Journal of Rural Health, 25(2), pp.77-84.

Weeks, G.R., 2016. Ethical Techniques to Maintain Confidentiality in Couple Therapy. In Techniques for the Couple Therapist (pp. 55-58). Routledge.

Wilson, J. and Pender, K., 2017. Employment law: Risky business: The legal hazards of relationships in the workplace. Ethos: Official Publication of the Law Society of the Australian Capital Territory, (245), p.20.

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