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Ethical Issues in IT Organization Assignment Solution
Information and Communication Technology has evolved rapidly in the recent years and businesses, and companies have adopted ICT tools, and applications in their daily operations and these tools have quickly changed the way of operations. Although ICT has a vital positive impact on the society, it raises very grave ethical questions concerning persons, institutions and corporate strategy organizations utilizing ICT products and applications. The core ethical issues arising from ICT implementation include invasion of corporate and individual privacy, intellectual property rights, values preservation as well as individual and societal rights. This paper will pinpoint and describe the ethical issues arising from the Jean scenario, analyze the ethical issues utilizing an ethical theories framework and then give the final decision justified from ethical and practical angels.
Ethical Issues arising from the Scenario
Ethics concerned with ICT sector are known as computer ethics or Cyber ethics or internet ethics or ICT ethics, and they deal with how ICT professional should make decisions concerning professional and social conduct[ CITATION Pól15 \l 1033 ]1. In the Jean scenario, a violation of the intellectual property rights is the core ethical issue arising. Computer code is intellectual property, and in this case, the property belongs to Jean’s co-worker and the other to a different company. The Jean scenario raises various issues of intellectual property; providing proper credit for intellectual property and as well as issues with copyrighted work. The code of a different company was presumably copyrighted. Intellectual property can be elaborated as a property category that encompasses human intellect intangible creations comprising patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and publicity rights[ CITATION Sul16 \l 1033 ]2. In this case, Jean violated the professional ICT ethics in two scenarios; lacking to give credit for another individual’s work and utilizing presumably a copyrighted commercial package. Jean had a professional obligation to acknowledge credit to her source listings in her documentation of the project. Utilization of a commercial package was inappropriate because authorization issues could arise if her company was not allowed to utilize the source code.
Values determine what is right or wrong whether on the personal or organizational level and of significance is to note that all values are not ethical values[ CITATION Jer15 \l 1033 ]3. Core ethical values include trustworthiness, respect, and responsibility. From Jean’s case, the core values arising are trustworthiness and responsibility. Trustworthiness composes of the following behavioral qualities; integrity, honesty, loyalty, and reliability. Honesty involves truth-telling, avoidance of both deception and misleading. Loyalty involves protecting and promoting certain individuals and organizations’ interests[ CITATION Fer141 \l 1033 ]4. Therefore, the ethical value of trustworthiness is relevant to this case because of the behavioral qualities of honesty and loyalty. Jean lacks trustworthiness because she was not honest since she did not acknowledge the work of others in her documentation yet she had used their work in completing her project. Also, she was not loyal because she did not protect and promote the interests of the other company commercial package and her co-workers work for utilizing them and not acknowledging them.
Responsibility as an ethical value involves being accountable for our actions and who we are[ CITATION Ber17 \l 1033 ]5. Accountability means an individual is not shifting blame and not claiming credit for the work of others. Responsibility as an ethical value is relevant to Jean's case because Jean was not responsible because she took credit for the knowledge he accumulated from the source listings containing the work of others and was not accountable.
Analysis of ethical issues
I will utilize various three ethical theories and their principles to guide me in undertaking an ethical analysis of the jean case namely, ethical egoism theory, utilitarianism theory, and duty-based ethics theory. Ethical egoism Theory argues that every individual should conduct himself or herself in a way that promotes the individuals own interests. It has been elaborated that egoists’ society does worst for themselves that an altruist’s society[ CITATION Cha08 \l 1033 ]6. The principle of individuals own interests supported by the ethical egoism theory drove Jean to utilize others source codes without acknowledging their contribution in her documentation.
The other ethical theory is the utilitarianism which ERP implementation the principle of utility which is the morality's foundation and the criteria for determining what is wrong or right. The core point of utilitarianism theory is that our action outcomes should produce happiness for everyone it affects[ CITATION Mic161 \l 1033 ]7. The theory further makes assumptions that it is possible to measure the harms and benefits of our actions and determine its overall outcome. The core principle in this theory is happiness for those who are affected by the action taken. From the case, we can pinpoint that Jean did not consider the Utilitarianism theory because he did not consider the potential outcomes of her actions to her co-worker, her organization and the commercial software package company. Duty-based ethics theory work on the principle that ethics is doing what is right[ CITATION SAB15 \l 1033 ]8. Jean's actions contradicted the duty-based ethics theory since she did not do what is right according to the ICT professionals’ code of conduct.
Discussion on findings and Decision
In Jean’s scenario, Jean has violated the ICT professionals' ethics concluded from the ethical analysis done using the ethical theories. One theory of ethical egoism theory supports jean's actions, but the theory has a flaw since it has been found to do worst to those who implement the theory. The outcome of Jean actions will probably negatively affect the image of her company, her career and also her friendship with her co-worker. In my perspective, Jean decided not to acknowledge the work of others in her documentation because she taught about her interests and not the interests of her company, the commercial software package company or that of her co-worker. The actions of Jean will not produce happiness for others because presumably the commercial software package was copyrighted and she did not acknowledge it which it probably hurt the commercial package company and result in legal action against her current company. ICT professional is so as not to violate intellectual property rights, and that is what is called doing the right thing. Therefore, Jean went against the duty-based ethics theory which instills doing the right thing for the right spirit. Jean violated the intellectual property rights by not acknowledging the intellectual work of others. Therefore, basing on the above ethics theoretical principles and practical angles, my decision is that Jean acted guided by the ethical egoism theory by minding her interests of completing the assignment within the assigned period. As egoists society does worst for themselves, Jean's has done worst for herself, because her actions will negatively affect her friendship, her career, and her company through legal action presumably to be filed by the commercial software package company.
The primary ethical issues arising from ICT implementation include invasion of corporate and individual privacy, intellectual property rights, values preservation as well as individual and societal rights. Core ethical values include trustworthiness, respect, and responsibility. Ethical theories guide in decision-making processes in the daily duties of professionals. In Jean's scenario, Jean has violated the ICT professionals' ethics and will negatively affect her friendship, her career, and her company.
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