Ethics & Professional Issues in Information Systems Development - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Ethics & Professional Issues in Information Systems Development

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  1. Ethics & Professional IssuesinInformation Systems Development

  2. What constitutes IS failure? Not solely from technical perspective • Social, economic, political & ethical environment in which development takes place Sauer, (1993) • Complex combinations of organisational, financial, technical, human, political factors

  3. Why IS projects fail • Over commitment to projects • Managers unable to take impartial view of project • Social pressures that often exist within organisation • LAS, London Stock Exchange etc

  4. Where do the problems lie? • Organisations are communities of people • People compete for power & resources • Differences of opinions & values • Conflicts of priorities and goals • Bonds of alliance • Political dimensions

  5. Developments in government sector can provide examples of externally set deadlines • Political, commercial implications • Inadequate testing • Decision-making

  6. Almost every worker in industrialised countries use IS’s for daily work • Development & implementation of systems is responsibility of IS professionals • Conduct influenced by ethical attitudes Throughout duration of IS development project • Numerous activities and decisions to be made • Most will have an ethical dimension

  7. What is Ethics? • The discipline dealing with what is good & bad & with moral duty & obligation • Individual human opinions and beliefs • Hard to define “most of our moral responses seem to be more a matter of intuitions and feelings than of reasoning and logical deduction – we are not always the rational creatures we would like to be” Gross, (1996)

  8. What is Computer Ethics? • Analysis of the nature & social impact of computer technology and the corresponding formulation & justification of policies for the ethical use of such technologies • “ethics for computing professionals is ethical rules & judgements applied in a computing context based on professional standards & a concern for the use of the computing product” (Gotterbarn, 1997)

  9. What is professionalism? • To meet standards set by a professional body in terms of individual conduct, competence & integrity • A commitment to interests of all end-users and other stakeholders

  10. Solutions Produce ethical tools • SoDIS • Ethically negotiated ethical triangle Need to address • Means of education for IS developers who are able to integrate the ethical dimension into their work

  11. Starting Point • Consider how professional issues in Computing are taught • Address & raise awareness of teaching professional issues in computing curriculum • Investigate differing approaches to delivery • Essential issues need to be addressed to produce computing professionals in line with Engineering, Law, Medicine

  12. Professional Bodies • QAA Subject Benchmark • Professional consideration • Recognise the professional, moral & ethical issues involved in exploitation of computer technology & be guided by adoption of appropriate professional, ethical & legal practices

  13. BCS Code of Conduct • Establish & maintain standards of professional competence, conduct & ethical practice • Syllabus to include ethical, legal, social issues • ACM Code of conduct

  14. Critical importance to improve student’s perspective of professional issues • Integration into their learning experience • In line with other professions

  15. Naivety amongst organisation & some academics concerning benefits of codes of conduct – that an ethical code makes an unethical company ethical McCusker, (1998)

  16. “many in the criminal fraternity operate under a self-regulated and strictly enforced code of conduct. One would be unlikely to conclude that the mafia for example was an ethical organisation in consequence” McCusker, (1998)

  17. “I cannot imagine any conditions which could cause this ship to flounder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel”

  18. “I am amazed when I meet computer professionals in business and industry or even computer science teachers in colleges and universities who fail to recognise that their profession has social and ethical consequences” Terrell Ward Bynum (2003)