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Ethics in ICT - Essay Example

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The given case study relates to a contemporary media report that reflects a complex ethical issue between a software company and a shoe manufacturer. This paper will evaluate various options that are available to Jane, the quality assurance engineer of the software company. …
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Ethics in ICT
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Ethics in ICT (College/Assignment) Ethics in ICT Rapid technological developments and thereby digital divergence have intensified several ethical, legal, and societal issues in modern business organisations. Sembok (2003) says that Ethics of Information Communication Technology (ICT Ethics) is related to humans’ right to collect information and knowledge. In modern times, majority of the business firms do not maintain ethical values while dealing with their information and communication systems. The given case study relates to a contemporary media report that reflects a complex ethical issue between a software company and a shoe manufacturer. This paper will evaluate various options that are available to Jane, the quality assurance engineer of the software company. A large national shoe manufacturer seeks the assistance of a small software company in order to maintain its integrated inventory control system efficiently. The efficient inventory control functions are essential for the smooth running of the shoe manufacturing company. Jane, a quality assurance engineer of the software company, suspects that the shoe manufacturing company’s inventory control systems are not tested sufficiently. However, the software company passed all of its contracted tests and could not find anything unnatural. Jane is legally required to perform those tests and it would protect the software company from law suits by the shoe manufacturer. Jane had notable experience in software testing practices and it influenced her concern over the sustainability of the system. Jane faces powerful pressure from her employers to sign off on the software. Her employers argue that a non-timely delivery of software would cause the company to go out of the business. At the same time, Jane identifies that the failure of inventory sub-systems would significantly harm shoe manufacturer’s clients and employees. If Jain initiates a thorough investigation, it would hurt her employer; otherwise, it may adversely affect the business of the shoe manufacturer. Here, it is obvious that Jane’s decision will determine the aggrieved party of this case. This complex situation raises ethical dilemma. In this case, any decision by Jane would hurt the interests of one of the two organizations. So as to explore the most effective way to solve this problem, it is necessary to evaluate the implications of Jane’s both the options. If she signs off on the software without conducting further investigations, it would probably trouble the shoe manufacturer’s inventory control system. As we discussed, this inventory system is responsible for gathering sales information daily from shoe stores nationwide. The collected information largely benefit the accounting, shipping, and ordering departments of the shoe manufacturing company in controlling the entire function of this large organization. Evidently, this gathered information becomes the central point in the estimation of company’s profitability. Since an erroneous function of the inventory control system may inflate or deflate the organization’s profitability, it would seriously impinge on the economic growth of the company. Such misrepresentations in company’s financial data may give false information to the management as well as to clients. According to Abrams and Kleiner (2003), the company management formulates business strategies on the basis of company’s financial statements; hence, a falsified financial report will certainly reduce the efficacy of the company’s framed business policies (p.238). Shareholders, investors, and other credit offering financial institutions make investment decisions with a company on the strength of company’s financial statements. Therefore, an erroneous inflated profit would attract more shareholders while a deflated profit would discourage the shareholders to invest with the shoe manufacturing company. Both the situations would negatively affect the long-term economic goals of the country. Similarly, if Jane takes a decision in favor of the shoe manufacturing company, the software company cannot deliver the software on time and it may terminate company’s business deal with the shoe manufacturing corporation. The shoe manufacturer is a very large national corporation that deals with large sales volumes. Therefore, this large organisation will be one of the potential dealers of the software company and thereby the termination of this business contract would adversely affect the expansional strategies of the software company. In my opinion, it is advisable for Jane to sign off on the software since she is primarily an employee of the software company. Since she receives remuneration from her employer, Jane has more ethical obligation to her organization. According to the view of Burlin (n.d.), Jane’s basic aim must be the economic prosperity of the software company. Hence, if she does not sign on the document, it will constitute misconduct. Moreover, she has engaged in all contracted tests and they did not indicate any sign of malfunction in inventory system. In short, the case study reflects an ethical dilemma in which Jane is forced to take some tough decisions. From the detailed study, it has been identified that the software company will suffer more losses if Jain dos not sign the document. Therefore, the best available option for Jain is to sign the software as it would save her employer from troublesome economic conditions in future. Reference Sembok, M. T. (November 2003). “Ethics of information communication technology”. UNESCO. Retrieved from http://www2.unescobkk.org/elib/publications/ethic_in_asia_pacific/239_325ETHICS.PDF Abrams, R & Kleiner, E. (2003). The Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies. Canada: The Planning Shop. Burlin, R. (n.d). “Where to in the new economy?”. The Business Forum. Retrieved from http://www.bizforum.org/whitepapers/CMC001.htm Read More
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