Case study 9 – Usage of internet by the company’s employees
Mandy is the employee in a company and work as a “security Administrative”. She is a full-time employee and has a long-term contract with the company. The task of creating a report was given to her to gather all the information and history of the employees. This report will include the internet history of each employee and report if the employees is browsing some questionable sites like pornography. While Mandy is aware that employees will be panelised if found guilty and she also know that the company has not signed any contract as such in which company has right to access any personal data of the employees. Now she is in situation where is have to take a certain decision even when she is in between ethical dilemmas. This report will show how to take a proper decision.
Being in a professional environment and being an IT employee, Every IT person is accountable and behave in a normal way, Mandy can take decisions by being in a limit of code of ethics and professionalism. There are some morals, rules, policies and some guidelines to be followed by ICT professional and also one should be aware of the IT governance rules laid down by the organisation. However, sometime we fall into some situation, where a professional get stuck into ethical dilemmas and face a tough situation to take a certain decision. This situation can be personal or can be related to organization. So, ethics those rules which give a person guidelines to take decision which is in the best interest of the organization and other party as well as acceptable socially. “They are used to negotiate, support, and strengthen our relationships with others”(William, 2019). With the help of these guidelines and ethical rules we can take a decision ourselves and know whether it is right or wrong. In a concept of It governance, ethical dilemmas is known for involving evaluation and direction to plans a case which support the organisation and monitor the plans. It also includes the strategy and policies for using ICT within an organisation.This case study will study the ethical dilemmas and provide possible suggestions to be followed.
From the case study 9 following are the three suggestions which are taken from code of ethics and professional conduct.
1. ACS code of ethics and code of professionalism
1.1 The preference of public interest
- Identify those directly involved and impacted in any situation by your work and clearly discuss and consider their interest.
- Discuss with clients and stakeholders about any conflicts which can occur in the near future which can involve professional action, legal action or other accepted public action or requirements.
- Let your clients, stakeholders, employees and other party involved know about the conflicts of interest or conscientious objections as soon as possible.
If we take an account of ACS code of ethics and rules of professional conduct.Mandy has to reconsider the possible effects and consequences of her actions on other employees which are involved and manager. Because there is no signed agreement or contract which suggest or state that the permission is given to the organization to monitor online activities and web history of any particular employees. So, there are chances of conflicts and she may have to discuss and tell the whole story to employees personally for better clarification of the situation and then she will be able to have a clear idea and will be able to make a better decision.
1.2 Honesty and Integrity
- It is not essential to improve your reputation in a company by telling certain decision at the expense of destroying someone else’s reputation.
- Distinguish between your professional and personal opinions and advice.
According to this code of ethics, Mandy has to think about her colleagues’ reputation as she will access their personal information. She also has to think about the business and being ICT professional she is accountable for the company’s policies and regulation.
1.3 Competence and Proficiency
- Make yourself aware about the relevant standards and legislation, and act accordingly to that.
- Respect and protect your employees and organization’ proprietary interests.
According to this, Mandy should research and make herself aware about the organization’s policies and regulation and also about the employee’s contract in which they are restricted to limited internet access or not. However, she needs to make a certain decision which is favourable to both the parties.
- Taking a suitable action against the party who are involved in some misconduct of law or opposing to this code.
- One should not provoke nor initiate to influence or change the state of mind, if any Employee takes any action, that action may breach the ICT code.
- Dont be involved or take any action in your professional role which may affect the image and reputation of the profession or diminish from the good name of the ACS.
According to this code and clauses, Mandy should take appropriate action if an employee engaged in misconduct and also against the organisation which is breaching the staff contracts to ensure good conduct is in practice.
In the recommendations, Mandy should follow the Thomas White’s approach to solve these dilemmas at the workplace, which is as below:
- Examine the consequences
By following these steps mentioned above ,it will be easy for Mandy to take a certain decision and it will be easy for her to think about the consequences and what action can be taken. Some solutions can be really helpful for her to solve the problem such as who will be affected and who is a beneficial party, whose feelings will be hurt and will it cause short term or long term consequences. In the given case study the employee’s private information with website history will be recorded and was told to make report without their consent. So, ethically it is unfair to do so because it is written nowhere in the company regulations and it is a breach of laws and company’s own policies. It will create conflicts among the staff members and they may protest against the company’s norms.
- Examine the Actions
“When analysing the actions it is essential to only think about the impacts of activities regardless of the consequences”(Oaic.gov.au, 2019). In this case study the actions can be taken after analysing the situation with the manager who has given the task of masking such report. furthermore,to ensure the ICT corporate governance is followed properly. Mandy should think about the end result of the action she will take.
- Making a final decision
Now it is time to take the appropriate and final decision by taking an account of all ACS code of ethics and Australian legislation. This suitable decision can be a discussion between both parties involved but it should be a healthy discussion. After the discussion, the best result can be the change of current contract and then updating the contract according to the new rules and regulation where employees are made aware of the legal use of company’s network and computers without any breach and conflict. while employees should know that “The laws are quickly changing and Australian websites are being actively monitored by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner” (Legal123.com.au, 2019).
In the end, it can be concluded that as any party whether it is employees or the big organization should follow certain rules before enforcing something and everyone is bound to follow the ACS code of ethics and standards. In this case study, changes and updation in employees’ current contract can be taken into consideration and making the employees aware about the particular change in contract. This can be the best solution where they don’t become the victim of corporate propaganda
- William, F. (2019). What Is an Ethical Dilemma?. [online] SocialWorker.com. Available at: https://www.socialworker.com/feature-articles/ethics-articles/What_Is_an_Ethical_Dilemma%3F/ [Accessed 20 Jun. 2019].
- Oaic.gov.au. (2019). What is personal information?| Office of the Australian Information Commissioner – OAIC. [online] Available at: https://www.oaic.gov.au/agencies-and-organisations/guides/what-is-personal-information [Accessed 20 Jun. 2019].
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