Dealing with Ethical Dilemma
Using academic scholarly research, find an article that addresses an ethical dilemma from the past five years and annotate it thoroughly. What are the key points to the article? Summarize the dilemma. What are the key terms of the article? What conflicts or controversies does it raise? Where can you offer analysis or an original point of view? Once you have a handle on the article and your reaction to the issues it raises, use it as a foundation to
Create your own 2-4 paragraph “dilemma.”
Apply Kant’s Categorical Imperative to the problem you invent.
Apply any other method you have encountered in lecture material and the readings.
State which method you prefer and why.
Your paper should be 3 pages. You MUST provide the source of the foundation dilemma, and thus this paper will require 1 reference using at least 1 correct in-text citation (indicating quoted or paraphrased material from the article and where to locate it). Use APA format in citing the source. Refer to course resources for details and help in achieving APA style.
Dealing with Ethical Dilemma
Ethical/moral dilemma is a situation where a person has two options two make a choice from but neither of the choices solves the situation in the best way (Mullikin & Rahman 2010). However, several researchers have come up with ways through which ethical dilemmas can be solved. For instance, Aliti (2016) addresses ethical dilemmas that software engineers face in their profession. The researcher explores social cultural issues of the chosen countries, issues appertaining to software development, the bad practices and how software engineers react to the issues. The main aim, however, is to identify ways through which software engineers deal with ethical dilemmas in their field to ensure that clients are not harmed. He does this by carrying out interviews on 6 developers from different companies (both domestic and foreign). The interviews are meant to identify ethical dilemmas, reasons to lack of ethics in the field and how to solve dilemmas.
Three ethical dilemmas are identified in the article. First, software developers work under supervision of the management and not clients. This means that what matters is the decision of the management and not customer. For instance, when a product is delivered incomplete to a client because of lack of resources, and the management is aware of it but does not inform the client. In such a case, the developers blame it on the organization because they had no choice than to obey the management under which they work. Secondly, softwares are deployed for use without testing. The right thing is to test the software first but since they feel it delays development, they deploy them without testing. Lastly, highly priced softwares due to corruption in tendering. Most companies increase prices for software in order to bribe the organization that gave them the tender. In this case, the management feels without increasing price it will not be able to bride to get the tender. The problem is that increasing prices chases customers.
However, the researcher attributes the above mentioned dilemmas to three aspects – poor planning, lack of ethics course in software engineering or Information technology field, and poor relationship between clients and software developers. From this, he identifies the solutions to this ethical dilemmas. They include, introduction of courses on ethics to employees, more communication between developers and clients, and implementation of best practices and standards of software development. The controversy is that most software engineers understand the importance of work ethics but think it is not important in their job. The same software developers that feel ethics is not important in their field, throw blame to the management when they act unethically in case of ethical dilemma. The best solution would be exercising openness. Since both developers and management understand the importance of ethics, then developers should speak out and correct the management whenever they notice unethical behaviors.
Ethics values should be practiced by everyone in an organizational setting or when relating with others. However, it becomes difficult when one is torn in between his personal well-being and those of others. Such circumstances lead to ethical dilemmas. For instance, an organization where there is management that makes all the decisions. The rules of the organization are that authority should be respected and obeyed, any disobedience leads to contract termination. The work of an accountant is to write cheques for all procured goods as instructed by the procurement officer. It happens that the procurement officer has a higher rank than an accountant. The accountant is instructed to write a cheque for a supplier. However, later on, the accountant overhears a conversation between the procurement officer and the supplier where they plan to overate the goods and forge the invoice. In this case, the accountant is torn in between keeping his job and saving the company from losing money. Ethically, the accountant should not hide that from the company but if the cheque is not issued he might lose his job.
Categorical imperative is the central principle in Kant’s moral philosophy. To him, any decision made is either “right” or “good”. The former entails minding another person while the latter entails pleasing one self. However, he considers “right” superior than “good”. To him, respect for others should be upheld in every decision or action taken. No action should be taken with the aim of merely fulfilling personal desires. Applying Kant’s categorical imperative to the above dilemma, the accountant would report the conspiracy between the supplier and procurement officer to swindle money from the company.
Stuarts’ utilitarianism is another method that can be
applied to the dilemma. Unlike Kant, Stuart believes in doing “good” than
“right”. To him, every action taken should be aimed the happiness and the
interest of a great number. With regard to the above mentioned dilemma. The
accountant would talk to the procurement officer about it and find a way
forward. Comparing the two methods, Kant’s method is the best. Talking to the procurement
officer may help the accountant and the procurement officer keep their job and
save the company from losing money but it may not be a long term solution. he
accountant may end up being sweet talked into joining them too.
Aliti, A. (2015). Ethical Dilemmas of Software Engineers. 18th annual Dilemmas International Research Conference. Retrieved from https://open.lnu.se/index.php/dilemmas/article/view/536/526 Mullikin, A., &
Rahman, S., M. (2010). The Ethical Dilemma of the USA Government Wiretapping. International Journal of Managing Information Technology (IJMIT), 2 (4), 32-39.