Making Approaches when Working as an IT Professional

The following course learning outcomes are assessed by completing this assessment:
• K1. Research and discuss underpinning theories of ethical philosophy and apply these in to a range of scenarios in an IT workplace environment.
• K2. Interpret the principles of the Australian Computer Society Code of Ethics and synthesize them into daily IT practice.
• S1. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the cognitive and practical approaches required to manage IT professionals in collaborative, global work environments.
• A2. Apply skills frameworks and develop a career plan in readiness for transition into the IT profession.
• V3. Value ethical decision making approaches when working as an IT professional.

Assume that Mr. McBright is an employee of a company called NewAge Pty Ltd, which develops operating systems for a tablet computer manufacturer by name XYZ Pty Ltd. Mr. McBright is in charge of testing the proper functioning of the operating system and endorsing them prior to their release to XYZ Pty Ltd. Mr. McBright reports to Mrs McDonald, who has become so complacent with her position within NewAge Pty Ltd that she takes every step to protect it. For example, since assuming her current position five years ago she has not developed herself for a higher-level position, neither has she trained or sponsored any of her subordinates for further career development. Mrs McDonald also does not employ anyone who appears to be much more competent than herself. Furthermore, to Mrs McDonald, the most important criteria for hiring new employees is the college that they attended. The management philosophy of Mrs McDonald has resulted in many incompetent employees at NewAge Pty Ltd, resulting in the lack of current best practices for software development.
XYZ Pty Ltd contracted NewAge Pty Ltd to develop a software at the cost of A$2 million. Just prior to handing over of the operating system to XYZ Pty Ltd, Mr. McBright discovered a bug in it, although it could provide its intended basic functions.

He reported his discovery to Mrs McDonald, but they colluded to keep the finding secret in order to meet project schedule. Eventually the new operating system with its bug was released to XYZ Pty Ltd. XYZ Pty Ltd then installed the buggy operating system it acquired from NewAge Pty Ltd on 20,000 newly-manufactured tablet computers without knowing the deficiency. Five weeks after releasing the first set of tablets running the faulty operating system into the market, the software created a virus, called McDonaldBug, which destroyed all the customer records of Badluck Bank which acquired some of the tablets. Four months after the release of the second set of tablets manufactured from the faulty operating system one of the tablets burst into frames, burning an office complex owned by TastyBurgers Pty Ltd.

An investigation into the two accidents revealed that:

  1. The main cause of the two accidents was that the tablets involved were manufactured using the buggy operating system acquired from NewAge Pty Ltd.
  2. NewAge Pty Ltd has four branches located in four countries, and the employees at each branch have different set of skills. However, Mrs McDonald has the habit of not making good use of the skills of her colleagues working from other branches than where she sits.
  3. The main cause of the bug in the software was the lack of current best practices for software development at NewAge Pty Ltd as Mrs McDonald has not mentored her staff for career development for a long time. Also, Mrs McDonald employs only people of her alma mater.
    Both Badluck Bank and TastyBurgers Pty Ltd sued XYZ Pty Ltd for damages. XYZ Pty Ltd also sued NewAge Pty Ltd for compensation. The authorities of the council of the city (called LivingCity) including its mayor Hon. Joseph Luck, where the headquarters of NewAge Pty Ltd is located, interfered in the legal proceedings to get NewAge Pty Ltd exonerated. Their reason is that NewAge Pty Ltd is the major employer in LivingCity. Eventually, Badluck Bank and TastyBurgers Pty Ltd are battling against XYZ Pty Ltd in courts. The legal proceedings have been adjoined until further notice.

Subtasks 1 Tasks:
Students are expected to prepare a business report of maximum length of 750 words that gives an ethical analysis of the issues raised in the case study. Your submission must at least address the following points:
a) List the stakeholders in the case study. Discuss how each of the stakeholders in the case study applied or failed to apply ethical decision-making approaches in the IT work environment. (V3)
b) Clearly state the ethical dilemma that confronts the stakeholders mentioned in the case study.
c) Provide an ethical response to the dilemma according to consequences alone. Consider the consequences for each of the stakeholders mentioned in the case study.
d) The ACS Code of Professional Conduct extends the meaning of the six ethical values with requirements that contribute to observing the values. Examine the code and identify requirements (using value numbers 1-6 and a requirement letter) that are relevant to this case study. For each identified requirement, explain how it should be applied in this case study. (K2)
e) Use appropriate theories of ethical philosophy to analyse the case study, especially for the position of Mrs McDonald and Mr. McBright in passing the software while knowing that it was buggy. (K1)

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