Case Study 3
James is contracted by a Web design consultancy company to interview their staff to ascertain
their current knowledge. The aim of the study is to inform the company about the type of training
courses they need to implement. The aim of the study therefore, is to highlight areas of overall
weakness as opposed to individual shortcomings. Despite this, the type of data collected will be
able to identify individual weaknesses. James has been advised that individual’s information
gathered from interviewees is to remain private. Following the study. A senior Vice President of
the company approaches James and asks: “Who did well in this study?” How should James
respond to this question?
Discuss briefly the ethical dilemma that James faces. Show your utilisation of Thomas White
methodology to demonstrate how James might analyse and resolve the dilemma. Provide a
recommendation of what actions James should take and with whom he might communicate
throughout the process.
Include in your answer those clauses from the ACS code of Ethics and ACS code of Professional
Conduct that are relevant and briefly explain why. Refer also to any relevant legislation with an
explanation of how it relates.
Your work has been remarked. This is a failed assignment because you did NOT follow the White’s framework
steps to solve your case study.
You were give an SECOND CHANCE to re-submit before and I have suggested that you do it with diligence or you
will FAIL the course!
Step (1) incorrectly used. You did not analyse the consequences of actions you are considering.
Step (2) incorrectly used. You did not outline all the possible actions that James have and analyse it using the substeps to the ‘tee’.
Read White’s framework again in order to pass.
Regarding referencing ACS Code of Professional Conduct clauses, you used the wrong document, you should be
using the course material.
In my last feedback, it states the following:
“When you are asked to quote the clauses – it means you need to follow proper referencing
format, quoting the ‘clauses number and parts’ and its statement (e.g. clause 1.2.3 (a) – ‘clause
statement…’) in your answer.
Refer to ACS Code of Professional Conduct hyperlink in week 3 course material to correctly quote the clauses.”
You need to do this properly as this is your LAST CHANCE. If you fail this assignment again, your name will be
reported to ACS Office immediately for failing the course before the end of the term.
James case study
Clearly in this case study, James needs to tell his vice president who is doing well is a critical
thing to tell as there is a ethical dilemma. Here data is collected to analyze the weakness of
individuals. Informed consent shows that James has been instructed clearly to keep the
comments of interviewees private. Therefore there is an ethical dilemma what to reply. There are
some ACS code of conduct and values that are needed to be kept in mind.
ACS Code of Ethics
ACS code of professional conduct and values are (Australian Computer Society, 2014):
1. The Primacy of the Public Interest (4.3.1): You should keep the interest of the public over
any of personal, sectional or business interests.
2. Competence (4.3.2): You should work diligently and competently for your all
3. Honesty (4.3.3): You should keep yourself honest in presentation of knowledge, skills,
products and services.
4. The Enhancement of Quality of Life: You should strive for enhancing the quality of life
of all beings supposed to be affected by your actions or tasks.
5. Professional Development (4.3.5): You should work towards enhancing your own
professional development and all of colleagues.
6. Professionalism (4.3.6): You should work towards enhancing the integrity of the ACS
and the mutual respect for all members.
Relevant ACS codes and clauses
As per this code of ethics, interest of community should be given priority above personal or
sectional interest(Australian Computer Society, 2014).
The privacy and confidentiality of employees’ information should be preserved and
should not be used anywhere without their consent.
Employers as well as clients should be made immediate aware with the any possible
conflicts of interest or objections that can arise during the progression of work.
Endeavour to develop the skills of employees need for the accomplishment of operational
activities(Australian Computer Society, 2014).
Identify all possible to be impacted by your operations and work towards enhancing the
life quality of those who are going to be affected with your work.
All should be treated equally and respectfully. Any type of discrimination should be
Professional Development 4.3.5
Enhance your awareness of issues and factors affecting your profession and its relationship with
Refrain from any action or behavior in your professional role and responsibility that may
lower down the image of the profession or detract from the brand name of the ACS
Feel proud on being in this profession, and promote and protect trustworthiness and
professionalism in ICT.
The Privacy Act of 1988 states the proper handling of employees’ data by an organization
(Australian Government, n.d.). Handling is a collective term for Collecting, using, storing and
disclosing of personal data and information, and access and correction of that.
According to this law, an organization can’t disclose the personal information of employee to
anyone without their consent. Although, in current case study, James and his managers or CEO
are not mishandling their data but they are using it without their consent. Although, it is good to
find out the weakness of the employees to give them proper training but as each has his strength
or weakness how can we say he is doing well or not.
WHITE’S 3-STEP METHOD FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION
STEP 1: ANALYSE THE CONSEQUENCES
The decision of who is doing well is going to have a number of consequences that can
affect the organization significantly (Bigg Success, 2008).
It can create distances among employees that can harm their collaboration and mutual
respect which is must of productivity.
It can make some employees feel highly skilled and others inferior that may motivate
them working towards personal goals not organizational.
Step2 Analyze the actions
From business point of view, there seems a lack of foresight with James and his senior staff.
Also from public point of view, decision of who does well seems purely selfish. From legal point
of view, they are taking interview of employees to know their strengths and weakness to improve
their training without taking the consent of employees for the same. Also, stating who does well
may make feel some employees less skilled or worthy that harms the cooperation.
STEP 3: MAKE A DECISION
James should discuss with Vice president clearly in what sense they are asking well. Because all
employees have their own strength and measuring their wellness on the basis of a particular skill
can be harmful for organization. There should be written consent from the employees for taking
their interviews and they should be intimated about their use. Also, there should be a proper
criterion on what basis they will analyze the skills of employees. The interview should be in
respect of all public interest and privacy and confidentiality of employees should be
preserved(Weitzman and Weitzman, 2000).
There is a major issue of privacy in this case. It is mandatory for IT professionals to protect the
privacy and integrity of others data (4.5.2) and respect the others’ privacy (4.8.2). Failure in
protecting their privacy, even from higher management within the organization is a breach of the
contractual agreement with the participants. WHITE’S 3-STEP METHOD theory can help in
resolving this conflict for James.
1. Australian Computer Society (2014). ACS Code of Professional Conduct. [online]
Professional-Conduct_v2.1.pdf [Accessed 7 Jan. 2019].
2. Weitzman, E. and Weitzman, P. (2000). Problem solving and decision making in conflict
resolution. The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice, pp.185-209.
3. Bigg Success. (2008). 3 Steps to Solve an Ethical Dilemma. [online] Available at:
https://biggsuccess.com/bigg-articles/3-steps-to-solve-an-ethical-dilemma/ [Accessed 5
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