Description of the Ethical IT Issue
⦁ In 1-2 paragraphs, outline the ethical IT issue faced by the company you selected, and consider the relevant stakeholder groups that may be affected by the ethical IT issue. Remain objective, and investigate several IT ethical dilemmas and/or how the companies responded. The final write-up should include at least 3 sources that describe IT ethical dilemmas and/or how the companies responded. If you determine that 1 or more of the sources has a bias, either select another article or briefly describe the bias.
Context of the Ethical IT Dilemma
⦁ In 1-2 additional paragraphs, discuss the context of the ethical IT dilemma, including the regulatory or legal environment, specific guidelines of industry groups and/or government authorities, and implications to society and/or the environment. You should use at least 2 reputable sources to support the assertions you make.
2 Possible Alternatives to Respond to the Ethical IT Dilemma
⦁ Next, consider at least 2 possible alternatives (actions) that the organization chose (or could have chosen) to respond to the ethical dilemma. Note that the company may have selected 1 (or both) of the actions that you describe. Discuss each of the alternatives in 2 separate paragraphs — 1 paragraph for each alternative you chose. Use at least 2 reputable sources for each of the possible alternatives.
2 Ethical Frameworks to Respond to the Ethical IT Dilemma
⦁ Select 2 ethical frameworks that the company could have used - or did use - to respond to the ethical IT dilemma. Describe each potential framework in a separate paragraph, with at least 1 source for each paragraph. One of the ethical frameworks that you discuss may have been (but does not have to be) how the company actually responded to the situation.
While there are many frameworks for making ethical choices, and they have overlapping ideas, we will focus on the following five approaches and how they apply to the identified IT ethical dilemma: Utilitarian, Rights, Fairness, Common Good, and Virtue, as described below.
⦁ The Utilitarian Approach –considers alternatives that produce the most good and do the least harm. In the organizational context, for example, good might mean shareholder return and green environmental policies. While the two pull on each other, the organization should decide how to balance the competing outcomes.
⦁ The Rights Approach –respects the rights of all (or most) who have a stake in the decision. For instance, the organization wants to protect the customer, while minimizing cost (to maximize shareholder return).
⦁ The Fairness or Justice Approach –treat people equally or in proportion to each other. For example, the organization wants to treat people equally, based on their value to the organization - e.g., customers receive certain benefits in a consistent manner, employees receive certain benefits in line with their contributions to the organization, and shareholders receive consistently applied dividends. It is sometimes difficult to treat people equally.
⦁ The Common Good Approach –serves the community as a whole and not just some members of the community. An organization might implement updated data security standards, for instance, and may treat all customers the same, whether you spend $10,000 or $10. Competing with these needs, however, may be "preferred" customers, who may get additional benefits or "preferred" suppliers, who may have invested in an integrated system with you in order to receive faster payment for goods and/or services provided.
⦁ The Virtue Approach –leads you to be the sort of person you should be. Legally, a publicly held corporation is a "person." Like you and me, corporations set standards. For instance, they may want to donate to specific charities and receive community goodwill, but they cannot spend all of their profits on outreach (unless they are a non-profit, which is a totally different consideration).
1 Alternative Selected
⦁ Of the two alternatives evaluated and considering the ethical approaches above, select the one alternative that you believe the company should choose (or should have chosen) in response to the IT ethical dilemma. Support your choice in a paragraph using at least 2 sources to bolster your assertions, using components of the relevant ethical framework(s) described above.
Reflection of Potential Short-term and Long-term Outcomes of Selected Alternative
⦁ Finally, in a concluding paragraph, reflect on the potential short-term and long-term outcomes of the alternative selected, if the company chooses to implement the solution you recommend. Support your recommendation with 2 relevant sources describing how other companies chose to respond to an IT ethical dilemma.