This is an individual assignment and is to be completed by you working alone (use the green Statement of Authorship for Individual Assignments).
Copying, Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the submission of somebody else’s work in a manner that gives the impression that the work is your own. The Department of Computer Science and Information Technology treats academic misconduct seriously. When it is detected, penalties are strictly imposed. Refer to the subject guide for further information and strategies you can use to avoid a charge of academic misconduct.
Referencing: All submissions should be fully referenced whenever using information that has been sourced from journals, websites (including the date of accessing), etc. Your submission should conclude with a bibliography that cites all the references that you have used and/or referred to in your deliberations and used in your submission.
(Background reading: LMS: Ethics Lecture (Week 5) and the Ethics Practice Class (Week 6) and in particular the document Sample Worksheet Solution and the case study, “Landscape” undertaken during the Ethics Practice Class.
Your Assignment submission should answer the following questions. Use the headings given below in your submission.
Question 1: Is there an Ethical Dilemma?
Read the case study below and then briefly discuss any ethical issues related to any of the people mentioned (by name) in the scenario. (Maximum 1 typed page)
Question 2: Four-step Ethical Analysis and Decision Making Process
Do the more structured ethical analysis and decision making process (as done in
Ethics Practice Class (Week 6), following the procedures outlined in Kallman and Grillo). Complete this analysis using the following headings and associated questions and/or statements. These are the same headings as used in the Ethics practice Class for the case study “Landscape”.
Step I. Understand the Situation
a) List and number the relevant facts. Remember just the facts here – no judgements or opinions – only the facts as presented in the scenario.
b) Which of these raise an ethical issue? What is the potential or resulting harm? From the above listed facts– identify which raise an ethical issue and, of course, what is/are the ethical issue(s) that the fact raises. There will be quite a few ethical issues in this case study – some closely related while others may be/seem unrelated.
c) List the stakeholders involved. Identify all the “players” that are involved – this includes all the named individuals/people, as well as groups (e.g. the company itself) etc.
Step II. Isolate the Major Ethical Dilemma
Need to identify from all the listed ethical issues you have detected (in Step 1. b above) which is the main/major ethical Issue that needs to be dealt with NOW. That is, which is the ethical issue from which all or most of the issues detected above are caused by or are a consequence of, and if dealt with promptly ( NOW) would also solve many of those other issues.
Step III. Ethical Analysis
A. If action in Step II is done, who will be harmed?
B. If action in Step II is NOT done, who will be harmed?
C. Which alternative results in the least harm?
D. If action in Step II is done, who will benefit?
E. If action in Step II is NOT done, who will benefit?
F. Which alternative results in the maximum benefit?
Consequentialism Comments (on the choices at C. and F.):
Make your comments/assessments regarding your answers to C and F (above) here. It may be that the conclusions arrived at in answering the questions above appear contradictory or may logically follow – either case will require your comments… where you can “make sense” of it all …
Rights and Duties:
G. List relevant abridged rights and neglected duties.
That is, when considering the stakeholders, who has had their rights “violated or ignored”, and who has neglected their duties with respect to the events as outlined in the given scenario.
Rights and Duties Comments:
Again make your comments/assessments here – often a duty may appear to contradict a responsibility – this is your opportunity to “make sense of it all”.
Kant’s Categorical Imperative:
H. If action in Step II is done, who will be treated with disrespect?
I. If action in Step II is NOT done, who will be treated with disrespect?
J. Which alternative is preferable?
K. If action in Step II is done, who will be treated unlike others?
L. If action in Step II is NOT done, who will be treated unlike others?
M. Which alternative is preferable?
N. Are there benefits if everyone did action in Step II?
O. Are there benefits if nobody did action in Step II?
P. Which alternative is preferable?
Step III Discussion. This is where you may summarize your views/opinions on the results you have discovered in your ethical analysis involving
Consequentialism, Rights and Duties and Categorical Imperative above. It is also the place where you can give/outline your reasons, relative weights (or importance) attributed to your views on each of the results above. However your reasons must be supported by the evidence provided by the ethical analysis above
Step IV. Making a decision
a) Make a defensible ethical decision. The statement, “make a defensible decision” implies that the decision is as a consequence of having done the ethical analysis above and all/most of the results (answers to the questions posed) strongly indicate that to solve the main ethical dilemma the –“following”– has to be done, NOW! Typically this is in the form off an action statement action that – “something” – has to be done. Typically the “something” may be to: hire/fire someone, immediately close down … , call in the security experts, … , etc. depending on the ethical dilemma being addressed.
b) List the steps needed to implement your defensible ethical decision. Having made the bold action statement ( ethical decision) above, here is the place to outline the actual steps that need to be taken to achieve your decision. This may also involve steps that also address “lesser” but related (to the main/major) ethical dilemma. This normally takes the form of who has to do what and when – several people may need to do several different things in order to implement the decision – these actions need to be given here.