|ASSESSMENT 1 BRIEF|
|Subject Code and Title||MIS303 Professional Ethics|
|Length||750 words (+/-10%)|
|Learning Outcomes||The Subject Learning Outcomes demonstrated by successful completion of the task below include:|
a) Identify and explain how codes of ethics directly impact professional practice and behaviour in the IS profession.
Write an essay applying your knowledge of professional ethics, traditional theories in ethics (as covered in Module 1), ethical issues that arise in business, and the relationship between culture and professional ethics.
In Modules 1 and 2, you learnt about issues related to professional ethics in the information systems (IS) industry. You also learnt about traditional theories related to professional ethics and its relationship with culture. You will now have an opportunity to debate and explore core issues relating to how traditional theories of professional ethics can be demonstrated – such as in the specific application of industry codes of ethics or in specific behaviours or actions as an IS professional.
Write a 750-word essay on ‘Professional ethics in the information systems industry: A discussion about issues, cultures and traditional theories’
Please refer to the Assessment Rubric to ensure you address all the assessment criteria.
Suggested Essay Format
Introduction (75-100 words)
Body (450-550 words)
Conclusion (75-100 words)
‘PROFESSIONAL ETHICS IN THE INFORMATION SYSTEMS INDUSTRY: A DISCUSSION ABOUT ISSUES, CULTURES AND TRADITIONAL THEORIES’
In the corporatised world, the term professional ethics has gained momentum in recent decades. Professional Ethics is a set of principles that guide the behaviour of people in the business set-up. They act as rules that the individual has to abide by, to work in a business environment (Airaksinen, 2012). However, certain challenges occur mainly due to diverse cultures and different value systems. In that regard, the traditional theories on ethics play a critical role. This essay aims to consider professional ethics and link them with the traditional theories to take on the challenges offered by diversity issues in Information System (IS) professions.
Culture is distinctly based on geography. Even if the globalised world and the era of the internet have brought us closer, culture is still an important element that determines the functioning of the nations and regions (Whiten et al., 2011). Professional ethics are standard norms that most multinational companies follow. However, the employees, clients and other stakeholders come from different backgrounds, and thus, culture does hold the ability to influence professional ethics. The difference in cultures from which the people come gives place to cultural diversity, a common feature of almost all the multinational and Information System (IS) industry (Nakagawa et al., 2017). The industry's cultural diversity is based on few critical aspects; use of Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Virtual Teams, Communication and information sharing with ICT usage, geographically distant teams belonging to different cultures. As discussed above, the different cultures influence the industry's functioning; they have certain perks and challenges. Benefits or perks are; the increase in productivity and creativity, numerous skills, increase in profits, among others. On the other hand, challenges include; language barriers, building synergy, bias factor, among others. In such cases, ethics play a role model for professionals. Professional ethics are designed based on universally accepted norms that help the companies adhere to the world's best practices, keeping into consideration the challenges. Some of the widely accepted professional ethics are; being formal at the workplace, being friendly, showing respect, and being loyal (Burmeister, 2017). The culmination of professional ethics based on the cultural aspects paves the way for a productive and ethically advanced organisation.
Ethics help a person realise the difference between right and wrong, both on personal and professional levels. The concept of ethics dates back to Before Common Era (BCE). The philosophers like Socrates, Aristotle laid their foundation on a wider scale. In subsequent centuries, the phenomenon of ethics was learned, and different theories emerged (Bryant, 1996). Some of the best-known theories are Deontology and Utilitarianism. Deontology theory was put forward by Immanuel Kant, and 18th Century philosopher from France. He was influenced hugely by the idea of law; in moral, philosophical and logical domains. The theory demands a human's moral behaviour as consisting in obedience to a formal law or one's duty. He also believes that humans are rationale. Thus they must use their logic all the times (Dierksmeier, 2013). The Utilitarianism theory was developed by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill in the 18th-19th centuries. The theory focuses on the results of an action taken by an individual. It believes that consequences are all what matter. Thus it is also called consequentialism theory (Brandt & Brandt, 1992). Information System Industry faces a huge number of opportunities and challenges as it is a diverse business set-up. While framing the ethics for such industries, it is critical to note that while these theories are static, their application in a dynamic business set-up can be challenging. Thus, it is beneficial to adopt a blend of these theories. For certain sections, deontology suits them best, like treating the customers and other key stakeholders. The employees' duty should be to satisfy their needs and please them in the best ways possible. However, for some areas, the consequentialism theory can be used to delineate the boundaries of fair and unfair practices, like giving customers data to a third party without their permission; it affects the privacy of customers in the long-term.
Professional ethics are not an option but a necessity for all business organisations today. In a globalised world, culture plays a crucial role in different areas. Thus, we have learned in the essay that while cultural diversity can have some perks and challenges, professional ethics, if designed keeping culture in consideration, can provide a long-term solution to the industry. We learned the well-known theories and how they could add value to the Information System Industry's professional ethics. The industry's dynamic nature can suit the age-old theories if they are used appropriately by the organisations.