Online Journal of Ethics-Juli

Online Journal of Ethics-Juli - Online Journal of...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Online Journal of Ethics (OJE) Volume 3, No. 1 (Summer 2000) PROGRAMMER ETHICS AND PROFESSIONALISM IN STRATEGIC SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT: A CASE STUDY By Charles K. Davis, Ph.D. University of St. Thomas Houston, Texas July, 2000 ABSTRACT This article explores the vulnerability of business organizations to unethical, unprofessional, and even vengeful acts by employees who seek to damage a critical class of information systems: corporate strategic information systems. The case of Bogart Engineers and Constructors Inc. (disguised name) is presented. In this case, two programmer employees tried to claim ownership of a Bogart strategic information system and also sought to destroy the functional integrity of Bogart’s copy of the system. Computing systems that provide a business enterprise with competitive advantage demand senior management attention. Rigorously enforced standards in the selection and training of staff and in the management and monitoring of work performed on strategic systems is essential. This article provides recommendations for reducing business exposures associated with employee malfeasance relating to information systems technology. CR Classifications: K.5.1 [Legal Aspects of Computing]: Software Protection - proprietary rights; K.6.1 [Management of Computing and Information systems]: Project and People Management - staffing, systems development, training; K.6.3 (Management of Computing and Information systems] software Management - software development; K.6.4 (Management of Computing and systems]: system Management - management audit, quality assurance; K.6.m [Management of Computing and Information systems]: Miscellaneous - security. CR General Terms: Legal Aspects, Management, Security. Additional Keywords and Phrases: Management Control, Strategic Information Systems, Information Technology. PROGRAMMER ETHICS AND PROFESSIONALISM IN STRATEGIC SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT: A CASE STUDY In a “Sloan Management Review Forum” on ethics in business, Saul Gellerman (1989) asked, “How can organizations protect themselves from employees who behave unethically?” In the realm of information technology, this question might be rephrased, “How can organizations protect themselves from their own computer programmers who engage in unethical, unprofessional, even vengeful, misconduct?” This question takes on added significance when it refers to those employees who have access to a corporation’s strategic information systems. This article deals with strategic information systems, the question of programmer ethics, and the potential for serious consequences if strategically valuable information systems are compromised. The “real world” nature of this vulnerability is illustrated with the case of Bogart Engineers and Constructors, Inc. Bogart (a disguised name) became aware that two members of its programming staff were trying to appropriate a copy of one of Bogart’s strategic software systems. Also, at least one of the programmers involved had attempted to destroy Bogart’s own copies of the
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page1 / 10

Online Journal of Ethics-Juli - Online Journal of...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online