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Benefits Plan Implementation: An IT Ethical Dilemma

David Pumphrey, Don Carpenter
January 1, 2017
North America
Strategy & General Management, Ethics & Social Justice
3 pages
ethics, utilitarian, ethical framework, moral philosophy, personal eithcs, organizational ethics
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.7)
Average rating: 

IT systems analyst Jim Davis had just been told by the Director of IT that Jim must change the employee benefits software despite Jim’s objections that the change was unethical. The company had allocated an amount of money for each employee to purchase benefits, and Jim’s team wrote the software according to the requirements provided by the firm’s benefits consultants. In opposition to the benefits consultants’ interpretation of the regulations governing the plan, the CEO believed that to protect employees from electing cheaper benefits, no rebates for reduced coverage should be paid to them. The CEO ordered that the software be changed to ensure this outcome. Based on the consultant’s opinion, Jim found this decision unethical. He wondered whether he should risk his job by refusing to implement the change ordered by the CEO.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Evaluate the importance of information systems ethical awareness.
  2. Illustrate the importance of ethical leadership. Explain the position the CEO took on the issue in the case from his perspective.
  3. Evaluate differences between professional versus personal and corporate ethics, especially in regard to IS/IT issues.
  4. Design a strategy for the IT department to follow to avoid such conflicts so late in the development process.