IT Project Manager
The main purpose of this report is to analyze the questionable acts performed by the members of Concept Software Solutions, which includes Systems Analyst, IT Project Manager, and Software Engineer etc. These questionable acts are supposed to be analyzed based on the ethical theories. This is so because ethical theories help in understanding that which behavior is morally correct or morally wrong. The method that would be used in analyzing the questionable acts is ethical analysis, stakeholder identification and Bommer et. al’s Analysis.
Ethical analysis involved the model of ethical decision making and normative theories of ethics. Thus, a complete analytical approach is preferred for this research. 1. 2 Scope Scope: In this report, Ethical Analysis is being used and the ethical theories and principles serve as the foundations for this analysis. This analysis is significant because of the valuable guidance obtained all along the way to a decision. Each and every theory underlines diverse key points that include identifying the outcome and abiding by the duties, keeping in mind the perspectives of others so as to arrive at an ethically correct decision.
Ethics has a wider scope as it fulfills the basic social requirement by explaining the expectable behaviors of individuals
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Another limitation is that ethical theory ignores the consideration regarding change in the moral character of a person. 1. 3 Definitions Ethics: Ethics is a branch of philosophy which helps us to deal with the integration of morality in the process of decision making. Morals: These can be referred as codes of conduct and duties which are related with describing about right and wrong conduct. Values: Values are the quality of an individual’s behavior which are developed from the antecedents of life and are considered as good from others’ point of view.
Virtue: It can be considered as moral excellence and taken as broader point of view of values. Quality: Quality represents creative harmony in relation to the environment of the object and finally, it is estimated on the basis of laws of nature. Morality: Morality is a system to determine the right and wrong behavior which is set by some higher authority such as government. Ethical Dilemma: Ethical dilemma is a situation in which ethics are ignored in the process of decision making due to some powerful non-ethical considerations.
For example, in the given case, Concept Software Solutions (CSS) is in the ethical dilemma that whether it should inform its customers about the defect in their software. 2. Ethical Analysis The present scenario is characterized by manifestation of a developing ignorance in terms of the ethical standards. The wearing away of these ethical norms has lead to the social anxiety, creation of distrust and moral insensibility. In order to preclude further impairment of the underpinnings of society, it is necessary to detect and rectify the sources related to moral confusion.
This report presents ethical analysis of Concept Software Solutions in the form of questionable acts. Questionable Acts From the case study, following major questionable acts were identified: ? First, questionable act relates to the behavior of the Angela, as she used to have time out from her tasks and also used to have a chat online at MSN during working hours. ? Second, questionable act arise on behalf of the board of directors of the Concept Software solutions as they are trying to hide the information from the clients regarding the defective behavior.
? Third, questionable act relates to the behavior of David as he opens the confidential mail, which was received by Angela. Justification Based on the ethical theories Justification of first questionable act: As per the deontological theory, the behavior of Angela is ethically wrong. The deontological theory explains that people must stand to their duties and responsibilities while analyzing an ethical dilemma. This refers that individual should follow his/her duties towards another individual or organization because maintaining one’s duty is what is conceived ethically right.
In this case, Angela depicted irresponsible act by being a good performer. She should have taken prior permission from her seniors or could have discussed regarding the additional benefits which she thinks to deserve. Based on this theory, she has broken the norms of organization and hence, her behavior is unethical (Approaches to Ethical Decision Making, n. d. ). This theory explains that individuals abiding by this theory will make highly consistent decisions as they will be established on the set duties of individual.
Justification of second questionable act: As per the concept of utilitarian theory, the act of board of directors is morally wrong as they are trying to hide the information regarding the defect in software just for the sake of making money from clients with deep pockets and to earn huge profits. But they forgot that in the long run, it might come forward as a bigger problem. Not only this, the decision of board is also unethical. Instead of hiding the information, they should send the patch to entire clients with no extra charge.
This would assist in establishing goodwill towards the client and at the same would be able to avoid possible losses. The utilitarian ethical theory is based on the ability to discover the effects of an action. Utilitarian theory involves two perspectives like Act utilitarianism and Rule utilitarianism. Act utilitarian specifies that those acts should be given preference that provides benefits to most of the people irrespective of the personal feelings and benefits. On the other hand, Rule utilitarianism takes into consideration the law and fair dealings.
Thus, Rule utilitarian attempts to provide benefit through fair means. Also considering the aspect of normative ethics like teleological moral systems, its main focus is on the outcomes that might arise on the completion of an activity. Thus, in order to make right moral decision, board of directors must review the outcomes that might arise from their choices. Since they have made decision which results in the incorrect consequences, so they are acting unethically (Rainbow, 2002). Justification of third questionable act:
Applying the concept of Virtue ethical theory (which is a part of normative ethics) on the behavior of David, it is observed that his act of opening a confidential mail, which was received by Angela, was unethical. The virtue ethical theory estimates an individual by his character rather than by an action, which may diverge from his normal conduct. Thus, the act performed by David is wrong as he read the confidential mail without taking prior permission from the authorized person.
Virtue theorists lay emphasis on the requirement of the people to discover that in what manner bad habits linked with the character can be broken. It takes into account the morals, reputation and motivation of the person while rating a strange and irregular behavior which is regarded unethical (Normative Ethical Theories, n. d. ). (Source: Normative Ethical Theories) 3. Stakeholder Identification Stakeholders are those individuals, groups, parties or organizations who have a great influence on the actions taken by a company.
It is very important step for the management of the company to identify and analyze its stakeholders. The identification and analysis of stakeholders is very important for the success of an organization (Stakeholder Analysis, 2009). Timely identification of stakeholders helps the company from getting into some sort of business crisis. The major stakeholders in this issue are the directors, employees and customers of Concept Software Solutions (CSS) as they are fully connected with the problem of defect in their products.
The directors and employees of CSS are directly concerned with the issue of defect in their software. The major issue in the given case is some defect in a product developed by CSS previously. On this issue, the management of CSS is divided in two parts in which the first part is in the favor of providing a software patch to the entire list of their clients without charging them for it. This part believes that it will be helpful for the company to increase its goodwill in the customers’ mind (Peterson and Ferrell, 2004).
On the other hand, the second part of the CSS management is in the favor of solving this problem at the time of its occurrence and they will charge for it. This part argued that using this option, they can extract some more money from the deep pockets of their customers and they will not be able to know about the problem of software which has been identified by the technical team. In this manner, it will also protect the image of CSS in the customers’ mind. Finally, the management decided to implement the second option because it would be more profit generating for the company.
The customers are also considered as the stakeholders of a company as they perform an important role in its development along with its employees. In the given case, if the customers or clients of CSS come to know that the product which they are using is not flawless and instead of taking the responsibility of this problem, the company is seeking to make money; this issue will influence the client to develop a negative image for the company. Therefore, all the stakeholders of the company such as its employees and customers are directly concerned with this issue and are very critical for the development of the company.
There should not be any leakage of information about the defect of software because it may harm the reputation of the company. 4. Bommer et. al’s Analysis Bommer et al’s Behavioral Model of Ethical and Unethical Decision Making provide fantabulous explanation of the ethical decision models. Not only this, the model explains numerous behavioral and ethical models from where software piracy can be derived. Bommer et al’s Behavioral Model incorporates the theory of planned behavior i. e.
TPB, which states that the purpose to execute a behavior depends on attitude of individual towards the behavior, subjective norms (the social control to carry out or not carry out the behavior) and one’s command over executing such a behavior. Thus, the model proposed by the Bommer et al’s incorporates the components that constitute the attitude and personal normative beliefs, moral judgment, strength of ego, locus of control, organizational climate and attributes related to the environmental and individual factors (Cronan and Douglas, 2008).
Bommer, Gratto, Gravander and Tuttle identified the following factors that influences the ethical and unethical decision making processes are work Environment, professional, personal, social, Government and Individual Attributes. On applying the above concepts on the given case, it can be interpreted that the individuals lack an understanding of the patterns and influences of ethical and unethical behavior as was the case of Angela, David. Board of Director was not able to identify how ethical behavior may serve as a suitable outcome for business, clients and society.
This conceptual model furnishes a foundation, which states that models should be developed in the Concept Software Solutions for understanding ethical/unethical behavior. This model should be used as a base for better understanding of the ethical behavior, as well as, its determinants so, that it can yield important information that can be utilized to restrain unethical behavior (Michael, and Khan, 2008). 5. Conclusion Solutions and Risk Concept Software Solutions (CSS) is dealing in supplying products and services for the E-learning sector.
From the given case, it is found that the company is having some ethical and organizational problems, which need to be solved, as soon as, possible. These problems include chatting in working hours, hiding of information regarding defect of products and information leakage. Angela Edwards (System Analyst) is an efficient employee of the company; but she thinks that she can have time for her personal work in office hours also and usually gets involved in ‘online chatting’. The company can declare a notice that none of the employees will be involved in spending time in chatting during the working hours.
They can chat or check their personal email during the free hours such as during lunch time or coffee breaks. There is not any major risk if the company restricts its employees to spend their time in chatting and other non-productive works. The only problem which may incur is the perception of some fun loving employees who may find them strictly bound by company policies. In the second issue, the company does not want to tell its customers about the defect of their product, as it thinks that this will spoil their reputation.
The third problem is information leakage in which David Smith reads a confidential mail and shares this information with Josephine Hensley. This is an ethical issue that should be there in any case. These problems can be solved by implementing some policies in the company. For the problem of defect in the previous product, the company has two options; first is to provide software patch without charging any cost and second, is to solve the problem whenever, it arises.
If the company uses the first option, some of its customers think that the company makes defective products and some others may think that the company is very good, as it realizes its fault and is providing software patch without charging any cost. The second options seem beneficial for the company; but it is not ethical and if the clients came to know that CSS is charging for its own mistake, they may loose trust. To deal with the problem of confidentiality, the company can implement some security measures for the security of vital and confidential information.
CSS can use authorization card to enter in some areas, which contain critical and confidential information. The installation of security cameras is a good step which the company has already taken. Company can fix some codes of conduct for the employee, which makes everything clear about such issues. The Implementation of these precautions does not hold any risks. The implementation of security measures holds first rank among all recommendations, which will enable the company to know what the employees are doing.
Additionally, it will be helpful in reducing some other problems such as spending time on internet for personal cause, etc. References Approaches to Ethical Decision Making. Retrieved April 1, 2009, from http://www. poznaklaw. com/articles/bizethics. htm Cronan, T. P. and Douglas, D. E. (2008). A Proposed IT Ethical Behavioral Model. Retrieved April 1, 2009, from https://igi-pub. com/downloads/excerpts/Clarke7013. pdf Normative Ethical Theories. Retrieved April 1, 2009, from http://academic. mu. edu/phil/jonesj/courses/NORMATIVE%20ETHICAL%20THEORIES. pdf