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Shilpesh A/L Madhukar

Nor Nashrah Binti Azmi

Nur ‘Amalina Sahrom

Rozimah Binti Omar

Muhammad Saddiq Bin Salleh

Mu’az Bin Ahmad

CISB 412

Pn. Izyana Ariffin

February 17, 2013

Importance of Ethics Among The IT Professionals

Ethics means principles or code of conduct that govern in human transactions. Ethics are meant to analyse problems that come up in day to day life [8]. Apart from that, it also applies to individuals who work in organizations, their conduct and to the organization as a whole. Organization need to abide certain ethics or rule of law in order for the organization business to be fair, clean and beneficial to society.

Improving Decision Making

Having to make decisions is an important task since it would effects or impacts on others as well. The same holds true for every organization, not only for Information Technology (IT) professionals. Decision making can be regarded as the mental processes or cognitive process resulting in the selection of a course of action among several alternative scenarios. Every decision making process produces a final choice. Decision-making is a key skill in the workplace, and is particularly important if you want to be an effective leader [1]. The output can be an action or an opinion of choice. Ethical decision making is a making of decision that is both legally and morally acceptable to the larger community [2]. When trying to make a good decision, a person must consider the positives and negatives of each option, and consider all the alternatives. For effective decision making, a person must be able to forecast the outcome of each option as well, and based on all these items, determine which option is the best for that

particular situation. Each decision presents its own challenges. Ethics in decision making is crucial so that no matter what type of decision is being made, the decisions can be made with confidence.

In case for IT professionals, Most IT executives need to make choices that inadvertently clash with corporate strategy. For example, IT executives must ensure that any IT related choices made are aligned with current information- technology standards and factors. On top of that, they also need to consider on company strategy and budget. So IT professionals must have a proper ethical decision making strategy to be fair to all parties.

Employee Commitment

Another reason why it is important to be ethical is that it can give a positive effect on employees’ commitment to work. Employee commitment plays an important role for an organization in order to enhance their productivity. Both the numbers of employees and the commitment of the employees are needed to contribute to a certain organization. Without any employees, an organization cannot perform any task and there would not have been any organization in the first place. A 1997 Walker Information survey of employees' views on business ethics revealed that 42% of respondents said that a company's ethical integrity directly influences their decision to work at the company. In addition, a 1994 survey by the same organization, titled "Corporate Character: Highlights of a National Survey Measuring the Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility," reported that the most important factors for employees in deciding where to work were employee treatment and business practices, ahead of quality, service, or price [4]. Most of employees prefer a nice and friendly leader at work rather than a harsh and selfish leader.

Having a positive attitude towards employees not only can make an organization successful but also can create a peaceful environment in the organization itself thus enhancing even more productivity of the organization.

When a company endorses strong ethical guidelines, this offers employees a clear sense of what’s expected of them on the job [3]. Less job ambiguity leads to greater productivity. Furthermore, strong corporate ethics send a strong signal to employees that the company is fair and just, which further increases their sense of loyalty and commitment to the firm. In

conclusion, when an employee sees their company as adhering to higher ethical standards, they become more committed to the company.

Increase Job Performance

Increase of job performance is one of the benefits of being ethical in performing tasks or jobs. The target and objective of the company can be easily achieves if all the employees in the company is being ethical in performing their job. For example, there are several ethics awards and media list for corporate reputation such as “American Business Ethics Awards”, “Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics”, and “100 Best Corporate Citizens” which consider ethical criteria for determining the companies ranking [4]. The ethical criteria will be used in determining the performance of the company in all the awards because the job performance of the employees will be increased if the employees are being ethical in performing the task or job.

In the IT industry, there are a lot of confidential data which travel across the network and the data can only be accessed by an administrator of the company. An ethical IT professional will keep the data as the secret from others while unethical IT professional will bring the data out of the company and give it to others. Other than that, an ethical IT professional will attack the system on behalf of its owner in order for seeking the vulnerability that is malicious to be exploited [5]. It is known as penetration testing.

Based on the internet survey that had been done by Symantec (Internet security company) from Ponemon Institute which is a private U.S research organization found that 74% of 3,317 employees in the United States, United Kingdom, France, Brazil, China and Korea had access to confidential or proprietary corporate data such as customer data, contact lists, employee records, financial reports, software tools and confidential business documents. Among 15% changed the job and half of it took confidential company data or information with them [6]. It is unethical practice which will give a huge impact to the company. The confidential company data should not be leak out of the company when the employee changes the job. According to Giuseppina d'Agostino, which is a law professor at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, warns that the sharing of confidential data or trade secrets can make or break a company [6]. According to Lisa

Stam, which is a lawyer at the Toronto business law firm Baker & McKenzie LLP, agrees that the loss of corporate data can be very costly to companies [6].

The ethical IT professional will not took out the confidential data of the company in order to increase the job performance and company reputation. Finally, the ethical IT professional will gain a lot of trust from the employer and generate a lot of profit to the company.

Long Term Gains

Ethics is the ability to distinguish between the right and the wrong and it is one of the most important parts in running a successful business. To become successful, a company needs to be driven by strong ethical values. The business based on the ethics can run successful for long years [7]. For example, Tata group, one of the largest business conglomerates in India was seen on the verge of decline at the beginning of 1990’s, which soon turned out to be otherwise [8]. In order for business to achieve long-term gains , customer relationship is very important and long- term relationship with customer could be achieved by conducting business based on ethics [7].

The IT professional, needs to have an ethics in order to gain a good relationship with the customers. IT professional should perform their job and task based on an ethics in customer service, and customer care in order to build the long-lasting customer trust. The most importance here is the implementation of ethics in IT to get a customer trust.

“On March 15, 2005, Michael Schrage published an article in CIO magazine entitled "Ethics, Schmethics" that stirred up a great deal of controversy in the IT community. In the article, Schrage proposed that "CIOs should stop trying to do the 'right thing' when implementing IT and focus instead on getting their implementations right." which is an ethics.” [9].

In order to be more ethical, IT professionals requires motivation in any possible way. Without following certain rules in performing the task, an IT professional cannot become successful. Success that is attained without a foundation of strong ethics is bound to be short-lived. How successful an IT professional is mainly based on their ethical practice. Only a few successes can be coincidences or flukes but persistent success can only be a result of a strong foundation of ethics. Finally, ethical practice is very importance for long term gains of successful IT professional.

Financial Performance

In addition to that, Financial Performance is one of the important aspects in Ethics to IT professionals. Financial has something got to do with profits and loss of an individual or even an organization. It would contribute positively to IT professionals regardless of any period of time. Corporate Revealed Ethics has a positive influence on the financial performance, even after controlling for stakeholder satisfaction, whereas Corporate Applied Ethics has no further

influence [10].This hypothesis however simulates to IT professionals as well.

More recently, some academic studies have shown a positive link between the existence of corporate ethics programs and financial performance. A 1997 DePaul University study found that companies with a defined corporate commitment to ethical principles do better financially (based on annual sales/revenues) than companies that don't [4]. In line with this, IT professionals with strong commitments towards their job would definitely enhance individual’s Financial Performance prospects. Ethical, completing tasks with rules and regulations would promise at least a huge difference between the non-ethical individuals. Indirectly, this would improve the IT professional’s morale in every possible way.

Decreased Vulnerability

According to TheFreeDictionary, vulnerability means susceptibility to injury or attack [11]. Decreased Vulnerability would be equivalent important to IT professionals who commits to Ethics. As companies develop or enhance their overseas operations, decentralize their business functions, and empower their workforce, it is imperative for them to develop ethics practices that provide the necessary training and tools to assure that their employees throughout the world can make ethical decisions. This decreases a company's vulnerability to misconduct and the harm it can cause to profitability, brand image and management focus [4].

When an IT professional is not being vulnerable, then the particular individual might be non- ethical. IT professionals when performing tasks need to be able to attend to injuries or attacks all the time regardless of the location. IT professionals often need to move around for related job specifications and attacks could come from any opposite party and here is where Ethics comes in to guide the particular IT professional to be vulnerable and therefore decreases vulnerability directly. As mentioned above with regards to company, IT professionals with Ethics, when

making decisions for personal benefit or an organization, this would definitely not harm the IT professionals in any possible way mainly in finance and trusts.

In conclusion, companies with strong ethics can gain a huge number of benefits. Being fair, honest and ethical is one of the basic human needs. Ethics create a sense of rights and wrongs in the organization. It is ethics that may stop organizations from harming the society or the environment.

References

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Last date of extraction: 7/2/2013

[2]

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Last date of extraction: 7/2/2013

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Last date of extraction: 8/2/2013

[4]

Author. 1999. The Importance of Being Ethical

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Last date of extraction: 10/2/2013

[5]

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Last date of extraction: 10/2/2013

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confidential-corporate-data.html

Last date of extraction: 10/2/2013

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Last date of extraction: 11/2/2013

[8]

Author. 2012. Importance of Ethics

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Last date of extraction: 11/2/2013

[9]

Author. 2013. Is There a Place for Ethics in IT?

URL: http://brainmass.com/business/information-systems/433358

Last date of extraction: 11/2/2013

[10]

Pascual Berrone , Jordi Surroca , Josep A. Tribó. April 2005. Corporate Ethical Identity As Determinant of Firm Performance. A Test of The Mediating Role of Stakeholder Satisfaction

URL: http://docubib.uc3m.es/WORKINGPAPERS/WB/wb053108.pdf

Last date of extraction: 12/2/2013

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Last date of extraction : 12/2/2013