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Ethical issues related to information technology refer to the way people handle information. The manner in which they create, use, store, and retrieve information on the routine business processes (Remley & Herlihy, 2014). It also entails the flow of information and communication amongst people and businesses. Ethics means the accepted principles that govern the people should conduct themselves. In the field of information technology, there are ethical codes governing the use of technology in processing, use, storage and dissemination of information both in business and social setups. In places of work, especially in our company, administration of ethics brings a dilemma. Some IT-related policies tend to conflict ethical standards upon their government. It causes a difficult situation for the organization and the entire management. For instance, in our company, the issue of employee monitoring has hit many minds.
Essentially, every management of any company has a right to know at any given time what their employees are doing with their computers/desktops in the offices (Eysenbach & Till, 2015). The move is to ensure that they stick to the main business agenda and discharge duties appropriately. On the other side of the coin, employees in a company need to enjoy their privacy, and the management of the organization should respect that fact. Since the employees are monitored every activity, they perform with the computer by the IT department. Spying them does not necessarily mean that they are probably something wrong with the laptop, but it’s healthy for the business (Greene & Hogan, 2016). The organization is usually confronted with the dilemma of respecting the privacy rights of employees and safeguarding their interest.
Ethically, organizations should respect the right of the employees as much as the employees are expected to abide by the laws and policies of the body (Eysenbach & Till, 2015). Upon drawing these systems, the organization should draw them from the laws of the land on information technology and the use of technology. Monitoring the employees does not necessarily mean that the management of that particular organization has an interest in the employee’s private affairs. Mostly the organizations concerned with safeguarding their systems and getting the right work done. In doing so, they violate the privacy right of workers which is unethical. Such a dilemma may affect the employee's ability and loyalty since they will always feel insecure. A worker may not appropriately and efficiently have in mind that someone is spying them. This situation can affect the productivity of the employees and the overall production and hence requires an immediate, lasting solution. It would be appropriate for the organization to improve their systems in such a way that they will only restrict the employee to work on the authorized sites only (Greene & Hogan, 2016). This move can help in eliminating monitoring.
Getting the Facts
The process of making decisions upon finding a solution to the problem of privacy as an ethical issue in IT involves several steps as according to George Reynolds. The department of IT needs to gather facts and analysis of the main problem. As far as ethics are with concerned both the organization and the employees have their privacy rights. Every party strives to earn their interests (Eysenbach & Till, 2015). To find a solution there needs to be enough data/statistics to prove the existence of the actual problem.
According to Remley & Herlihy (2014), it is ethical to include all the stakeholders who have a part to play in the issue. In this case, therefore, it is important to include employees, the organization’s IT team and laws/statutes on the use of information technology. Listening to the concerns o each side. The organization monitors the way employees use the computers in the organization to ensure they meet the right ethical standards. The main aim is to ensure that they do not misuse the facility (internet) for other purposes like downloading content from the internet than the one meant for. Employees, on the other hand, use the services and the resources availed to them to discharge their duties appropriately (Remley & Herlihy, 2014). They too have privacy which must be respected.
On deciding to solve the ethical dilemma of monitoring employees while respecting their privacy, it is essential to consider the outcome of the decision. The result should favor both the employer and the employee. The decision to be reached should not go beyond the ethical guidelines (Greene & Hogan, 2016).
Principle Guidelines and Procedure
Every organization has IT policies in place (Greene & Hogan, 2016). Every employee must abide by the IT guidelines and principles for that company. On arriving at a decision that will solve the current dilemma, it is important to consider what the law says concerning the use of IT and employee mentoring, organizational policies and ethical standards that are supposed to be met. They provide the basis for decision making since they help in harmonization to neutral and better grounds for conducting business.
In finding a solution to employee privacy, it would be important to develop and evaluate options and possible solutions that meet the needs of the organization and overall stakeholders such as the employees. These options must meet ethical standards (Remley & Herlihy, 2014).
Review and Evaluation
The final stage involves reviewing the solution achieved by all the stakeholders (Remley & Herlihy, 2014). The decisions will be achieved in accordance with the provisions of the law and be communicated to IT department and the entire organization. Feedback and views from other employees. It is important to evaluate the decision attained whether it meets the desired results.
When applied, the decision will impact significantly on business organizations in managing IT and the entire workforce while maintaining ethics, individual employees, suppliers, customers and the society. Every player will do his or her duties appropriately on a fair basis. The solution also meets the ethical standards required. I believe it will address all the current privacy issues prevalent in most business organizations today (Greene & Hogan, 2016).
This ethical theory seeks to justify the situation or the option that will bring goodness for all. The decision achieved above is based on this theory. The laws are fair to all. Basing my argument on the assumption, I believe that it is okay for it to be applied both in the business and outside the company. The decision observes ethical standards and aims in achieving goodness for all stakeholder involved. Finally, information technology can be a powerful tool to transform businesses and increase efficiency if ethically used. Without proper application of ethics information technology can insignificant (Remley & Herlihy, 2014). It can be misused and bring much loss to business hence the need for ethics to regulate on its use for the good of all.
Donaldson, T., Werhane, P. H., & Cording, M. (2013). Ethical issues in business (pp. 153-165). New Jersey.
Eysenbach, G., & Till, J. E. (2015). Ethical issues in qualitative research on internet communities. Bmj, 323(7321), 1103-1105.
Greene, S., & Hogan, D. (Eds.). (2016). Researching children's experience: Approaches and methods. Sage.
Remley, T. P., & Herlihy, B. (2014). Ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling. Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.
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