Faculty of Science and Technology
Individual Written Assignment Term 3, 2016
Business report providing an ethical analysis of a project management case study.
Submit your report at the Assessment section of Moodle. Refer to the Course Description for information regarding late assignments, extensions, special consideration, and plagiarism. Note that all academic regulations can be accessed via the university’s website especially statutes 5.3 and 6.1, url: http://federation.edu.au/staff/governance/legal/feduni-legislation/feduni-statutes-and-regulations
15% (45 marks)
This assessment task relates to the following learning outcomes:
• 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.
• S2. Utilise professional presentation and communication approaches in a range of IT workplace settings.
• A1. Construct written and verbal arguments in a variety of formats on the evolving nature of ethical norms relating to new technologies.
• V3. Value ethical decision making approaches when working as an IT professional.
A software development company has just produced a new software package that incorporates the new tax laws and figures taxes for both individuals and small businesses.
The president of the company knows that the program has a number of bugs. He also believes the first firm to put this kind of software on the market is likely to capture the largest market share. The company widely advertises the program.
When the company actually ships a CD, it includes a disclaimer of responsibility for errors resulting from the use of the program. The company expects it will receive a number of complaints, queries, and suggestions for modification.
Ethics Assignment 2016_27
The company plans to use these to make changes and eventually issue updated, improved, and debugged versions. The president argues that this is general industry policy and that anyone who buys version 1.0 of a program knows this and will take proper precautions.
Because of bugs, a number of users filed incorrect tax returns and were penalised by the ATO.
(This is case study 6 from the ACS Code of Professional Conduct Case Studies)
Prepare a business report of about 1500 words that gives an ethical analysis of the issues raised in the case study. In particular (at least), include in the report responses to the following sub-tasks:
a) Clearly state the ethical dilemma that confronts the president of the software development company.
b) Provide an ethical response to the dilemma according to consequences alone. Consider consequences for both the software company and the customers.
c) Provide an ethical response to the dilemma according to a consistent application of principles alone. What duties does the company president have in this scenario?
d) Provide an ethical response to the dilemma according to the typical response of a caring person.
e) 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. Explain for each requirement identified how it should be applied in this case study
f) Provide a defence, on ethical grounds, for the decision by the president of the company to ship the software while knowing that it contains a number of bugs;
g) Having completed your ethical analysis provide advice as to how the company president could have solved his ethical dilemma. Summarize your reasons.
The description of the six values is amplified in the ACS Code of Professional Conduct:
https://www.acs.org.au/content/dam/acs/acs-documents/ACS%20Code-of-Professional-Conduct_v2.1.pdf At least three additional resources should be used in the preparation of your report.
1. The structure of the business report should be as described in the source at: http://unilearning.uow.edu.au/report/4b.html Additional headings should be used within the body of the report as appropriate.
2. The introduction section should clearly indicate the issues being discussed and provides an overview of how it is intended to address these issues.
3. The body section of the report should contain an evaluation of the ACS values against each of the philosophical theories in turn. The discussion should show an analysis of research undertaken that is synthesised with your own ideas. Writing should be validated with concepts from other people’s work. Gather these references from various sources such as the Internet, assigned text books and readings etc.
4. The conclusion should be in your own words and should summarise your findings from the body.
5. All uses of source material (including paraphrasing) should be acknowledged with both in-text citations and corresponding entries in the reference list. APA format is to be used.
Refer to the APA citation style in the General guide to referencing at:
6. Adhere to academic writing standards such as correct grammar and spelling. Demonstrate signposting in your writing.
Elements Marking Scale
1 ……. 3 ……. 5
Report structure and contents of executive summary 0
Quality of introduction and conclusion 0
Analysis - Aggressiveness of the bid 0
- Duties emphasized by Deborah and Wayne 0
- Application of the ACS Code requirements 0
- Analysis beyond the specified sub-tasks 0
- Proposed resolution of the dilemma 0
Choice and use of resources, referencing accurate 0
Writing skills – spelling/grammar accuracy, ease of reading, use of signposting 0
Total Mark [45 marks] 0
Weighted Total [15%] 0.0