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Assignment Task
From what you have learned during Week s 3 and 4 of your Professional Environments Course,
discuss ethical, professional and legal issues which you consider arise from this scenario. Make some
recommendations of actions which could be taken to resolve the situation and/or to minimise the
chance the scenario may recur. Support your answers with relevant references (as well as the Codes
and Laws). Things to Consider in Your Assignment:
• You should list at least 3 values from the ACS Code of Ethics and up to 5 clauses from the
ACS Code of Professional Conduct, you think are specifically relevant in deciding how to
resolve the situation. Make sure that you refer to the most up to date ACS Codes which are
available on the ACS website – www.acs.org.au.
• You should also list any relevant Australian legislation that you think applies to this scenario.
• Your analysis, discussion and recommendations should use the framework you selected in
Week 3 – Solving an Ethical Dilemma.
Your assignment should be 500 – 800 words in length (excluding your code lists, legislation list and
references).
You may need to undertake a small amount of research, however, most information you will need is
available via the seminars and their references. Marking Guide
Marks will be awarded using the following guidelines.
• 15% meeting the procedural requirements, including, spelling, grammar, number of words,
document formatting,
• 30% how logically and thoroughly you identified and described professional ,ethical and
legal issues arising in the scenario,
• 30% how well you developed your recommendations and supported them with relevant,
correct referencing,
• 20% how well you convinced the reader that you understood the issues,
• 5% did the material generate interest in the reader?
case_studies_set_x.pdf

a_guide_to_moral_decision_making___macdonald.docx

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Program:
Course:
Assignment: 1
Topic:
Available:
Due:
Professional Year Program
Professional Environments
Ethics, Professionalism and Governance
Week 3 open
Week 4 close (Saturday midnight AEST)
Read the 3 Case Studies below and select ONE as the basis of your analysis and discussion.
Please indicate clearly which Case Study you have chosen
Case Study 1
John, A statistical database programmer, is trying to write a large statistical program needed by his
company. Programmers in this company are encouraged to write their own work and to publish
their algorithms in professional journals. After months of tedious programming, John has found
himself stuck on several parts of the program. His manager, not recognising the complexity of the
problem, wants the job completed in the next few days. Not knowing how to solve the problems,
John remembers that a co-worker had given him source listings from his current work and from an
earlier version of a commercial software package developed by another company. On studying
these programs, he sees two areas of code which could be directly incorporated into his own
program. He uses segments of code from both his co-worker and the commercial software, but does
not tell anyone or mention it in the documentation. He completes the project and turns it in a day
ahead of time.
Briefly discuss the dilemma for John. Show your utilisation of either Thomas White or Chris
MacDonald’s methodology to demonstrate how John might analyse and resolve the dilemma.
Provide a recommendation of what actions John should have taken.
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.
Case Study 4
Brenda has been asked to observe how junior management are using new accounting software at a
leading city accounting firm. As part of informed consent, staff are informed that they will remain
anonymous. During her observations, Brenda notices that many of the junior management staff are
making a particular data entry error when using the software. These errors are causing the
PE_Assignment1_Set X – May 2018
accounting firm to lose profit. Company policy dictates clearly that worker salaries will be docked
for clear mistakes leading to the loss of company profit. How does Brenda handle this situation?
Briefly discuss the dilemma for Brenda. Show your utilisation of either Thomas White or Chris
MacDonald’s methodology to demonstrate how Brenda might analyse and resolve the dilemma.
Provide a recommendation of what actions Brenda should initiate and to whom she needs to
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.
Case Study 7
Ruby is a public servant. She is a web developer within a department of a state government. Ruby
has been given responsibility for developing a tourism website by the IT Manager Jaspreet. Ruby
adds various links to news services to enliven this government webpage. These links include global
news channels.
It is later found that those sites sometimes provide news on court cases which are currently under
suppression order here in Australia as they are in process. When noticed this causes huge
embarrassment to the government department.
Jaspreet, the IT manager of the department had not seen the website before it went live but even if
he had it is unlikely that he would have noticed and tested every link. In any case the links were not
problematic until a local court case gave rise to a publication suppression order.
Jaspreet now needs to determine who should take responsibility and what actions should be taken
about the event. He needs to prevent recurrence of this type of problem.
Briefly discuss the dilemma for Jaspreet. Show your utilisation of either Thomas White or Chris
MacDonald’s methodology to demonstrate how Jaspreet might analyse and resolve the dilemma.
Provide a recommendation of what actions Jaspreet should initiate and to whom he needs to
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.
PE_Assignment1_Set X – May 2018
Assignment Task
From what you have learned during Week s 3 and 4 of your Professional Environments Course,
discuss ethical, professional and legal issues which you consider arise from this scenario. Make some
recommendations of actions which could be taken to resolve the situation and/or to minimise the
chance the scenario may recur. Support your answers with relevant references (as well as the Codes
and Laws).
Things to Consider in Your Assignment:



You should list at least 3 values from the ACS Code of Ethics and up to 5 clauses from the
ACS Code of Professional Conduct, you think are specifically relevant in deciding how to
resolve the situation. Make sure that you refer to the most up to date ACS Codes which are
available on the ACS website – www.acs.org.au.
You should also list any relevant Australian legislation that you think applies to this scenario.
Your analysis, discussion and recommendations should use the framework you selected in
Week 3 – Solving an Ethical Dilemma.
Your assignment should be 500 – 800 words in length (excluding your code lists, legislation list and
references).
You may need to undertake a small amount of research, however, most information you will need is
available via the seminars and their references. Also,




use a cover page – as per the suggested template,
use in‐text referencing,
use complete Harvard Notation, submit in “Word” format or equivalent format that can be
readily opened in MS Word, keep your formatting simple: Arial 11pt, 10pt after paragraph,
single line spacing, headings in bold, maximum 2 indent levels/bullet levels. Do not use page
borders, word art, page backgrounds or similar extraneous decoration
Your uploaded file name should identify you as part of its name – e.g.
PE_Assignment1_William_Smith.
Marking Guide
Marks will be awarded using the following guidelines.





15% meeting the procedural requirements, including, spelling, grammar, number of words,
document formatting,
30% how logically and thoroughly you identified and described professional ,ethical and
legal issues arising in the scenario,
30% how well you developed your recommendations and supported them with relevant,
correct referencing,
20% how well you convinced the reader that you understood the issues,
5% did the material generate interest in the reader?
PE_Assignment1_Set X – May 2018
A Guide to Moral Decision Making
Chris MacDonald, Ph.D.
Revised September 25, 2010
This guide is intended only as an aid. It is not a formula, and it does not guarantee good decisions.
Note that the order of the steps is not crucial, and may vary from one situation to the next.
A printable PDF version of this document is here: Guide to Moral Decision Making.
A. Recognizing the Moral Dimension
The first step is recognizing the decision as one that has moral importance. Important clues include
conflicts between two or more values or ideals.
B. Who Are the Interested Parties? What are their relationships?
Carefully identify who has a stake in the decision. In this regard, be imaginative and sympathetic.
Often there are more parties whose interests should be taken into consideration than is immediately
obvious.
Look at the relationships between the parties. Look at their relationships with yourself and with each
other, and with relevant institutions. Do those relationships bring special obligations or
expectations?
C. What Values or Principles are Involved?
Think through the shared values that are at stake in making this decision. Is there a question
of trust? Is personal autonomy a consideration? Is there a question of fairness? Is anyone to
be harmed or helped?
D. Sketch out options — not just actions, but courses of action
Think imaginatively about the courses of option available to you. Rarely are you faced with a simply
either/or, go-or-no-go decision. More often, you will need to design the various alternatives. Think
of those alternatives in terms of courses of action extended through time.
E. Weigh the Benefits and the Burdens
Benefits — broadly defined — might include such things as the production of goods (physical,
emotional, financial, social, etc.) for various parties, the satisfaction of preferences, and acting in
accordance with various relevant values (such as fairness).
Burdens might include causing physical or emotional pain to various parties, imposing financial costs,
and ignoring relevant values.
F. Look for Analogous Cases
Can you think of other similar decisions? What course of action was taken? Was it a good decision?
How is the present case like that one? How is it different?
G. Discuss with Relevant Others
The merits of discussion should not be underestimated. Time permitting, discuss your decision with
as many persons as have a stake in it. Gather opinions, and ask for the reasons behind those
opinions. Remember that your ability to discuss others may be limited by expectations and rules
about confidentiality.
H. Does this Decision Accord with Legal and Organizational Rules?
Some decisions are appropriately made based on legal considerations. If one option is illegal, we
should at least think very seriously before taking that option.
Decisions may also be affected by rules set by organizations of which we are members. For example,
most professional organizations have Codes of Ethics which are intended to guide individual decision
making. Institutions (hospitals, banks, corporations) may also have policies which limit the options
available to us.
Sometimes there are bad laws, or bad rules, and sometimes those should be broken. But usually it is
ethically important to pay attention to laws & rules.
I. Am I Comfortable with this Decision?
Sometimes your ‘gut reaction’ will tell you if you’ve missed something.
Questions to be asked in this regard might include:
1) If I carry out this decision, would I be comfortable telling my family about it? My clergyman? My
mentors?
2) Would I want children to take my behaviour as an example?
3) Is this decision one which a wise, informed, virtuous person would make?
4) Can I live with this decision?

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