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COMP427 Professional Ethics

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COMP427 Professional Ethics Agree ? Ethics cannot be taught. You are able to sense what is right, good and just, and are motivated to act or you are not. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: COMP427 Professional Ethics


1
COMP427Professional Ethics
2
Agree ?
  • Ethics cannot be taught. You are able to sense
    what is right, good and just, and are motivated
    to act or you are not.
  • 2. While people differ in their abilities, most
    people can improve their ethical decision-making
    through education and practice.

3
Professional Ethics
  • What is a profession?
  • What is ethics?
  • What is professional ethics?
  • Ethical theories
  • Thinking about professional ethics
  • Professional values
  • Codes of Ethics

4
Dilemma
  • The hijacked plane with 200 people is approaching
    a building with 50,000 people
  • Vote! Will you shoot down the plane?

5
Dilemma
  • You cannot subscribe to both principles in the
    case.
  • A true moral dilemma
  • Which position has the greatest weight in the
    circumstances?

6
  • Profession
  • Ethics
  • Professional Ethics

7
Profession
  • All professions are occupations, but not all
    occupations are professions
  • Can take a broad or narrow view of what is a
    profession
  • A self-regulated occupational group capable of
    legally prohibiting others (including incompetent
    or unethical members) from practising is a
    narrow view

8
Profession
  • You are not a professional until you are a member
    of a group of colleagues who have articulated a
    set of standards and values and can enforce them,
    at the very least, by exclusion from the group.

9
Professionalism
  • 1. Skill, competency in work
  • 2. Relational element work will be
    beneficial to others
  • Work itself doesnt have moral status
  • Execution of work has moral status

10
Professional Ethics
  • Purpose Helps professional decide when faced
    with a problem that raises a moral issue
  • Complexity Can be many people, with many issues
    involved may be involved history to the issues
    may be an issue WHO decides, not just WHAT
    decided.

11
Ethics and Morality
  • Morality making choices with reasons
  • Ethics the study of HOW the choices are made,
    ie ethics is the study of morality
  • Often use ethics and morality interchangeably

12
General vs Professional
  • General Ethics individual as member of
    community, broader range of issues, top down
    principles
  • Professional Ethics moral expectations specific
    to the occupational group, tend to focus on
    concrete bottom up cases

13
Morality and Ethics
  • Professional Morality what we do in our
    occupational lives
  • Professional Ethics the study of what we do in
    our professional lives

14
Ethics and Law
  • Law the authority is external
  • Ethics the authority is internal
  • Much of law, but not all, is based in morality
  • Sometimes law is unethical
  • Much of what is ethical is unaddressed by legal
    rules

15
Professional Ethics and Law
  • There is a moral duty to obey the law (with some
    caveats)
  • Professional ethics covers more issues than the
    law
  • One can be unethical without behaving illegally
  • Rare ethically must resist the law

16
Professional Ethics and Law
  • Be very careful not to embark in an exercise in
    ethical analysis when there is a clear legal rule
    in the situation that trumps the entire process
    of ethical analysis.

17
Professional Ethics and Law
  • Be very careful not to assume that there is a
    legal rule for every situation. Often the gaps
    between legal rules require one to switch to an
    ethical analysis.

18
Ethics
  • Descriptive ethics What IS
  • Prescriptive ethics What OUGHT to be
  • We do not seek to study professional ethics as a
    sociologist would, but to assist with choices
    about what one ought to do.

19
Prescriptive Ethics
  • What OUGHT to be
  • The words used are different good-bad,
    right-wrong, just-unjust
  • Thought processes use values, goods, virtues,
    rules, ethical theories, moral reasons, moral
    explanations, and moral decisions.

20
Why the Interest in Professional Ethics?
  1. As occupations become more specialized, the
    ethical issues become more specialized
  2. Professional societies have increased efforts to
    establish ethical codes to guide members
  3. Increasing public scrutiny, lack of traditional
    deference
  4. Regulatory oversight, public protection

21
Ethics in the Business World
  • Globalization of organizations have created a
    complex business world.
  • Risk is the likelihood of a negative event times
    the impact of the event.

22
Why Business Ethics are Important?
  • Protect the organization and its employees from
    legal action.
  • Create an organization that operates
    consistently.
  • Produce good business.
  • Avoid unfavorable publicity.
  • Gain the goodwill of the community.

23
Legal Overview
  • Bribes involve providing money, property, favors,
    or anything else of value to someone in business
    or government in order to obtain a business
    advantage.
  • Gifts are made openly and publicly as a gesture
    of friendship or goodwill with no expectation of
    a future favor for the donor.

24
Improving Corporate Ethics
  • Appoint a corporate ethics officer.
  • Ethical standards should be set by a board of
    directors.
  • Establish a corporate code of conduct.
  • Conduct social audits.
  • Require employees to take ethics training.
  • Include ethical criteria in employee
    appraisal/reward systems.

25
Code of Conduct
  • A guide that highlights an organizations key
    ethical issues and identifies the overarching
    values and principles that are important to the
    organization and that can help in decision
    making.
  • The code of conduct helps ensure that employees
  • Abide by the law.
  • Follow necessary regulations.
  • Behave in an ethical manner.

26
Ethical Decision Making
  • Get the facts.
  • Identify the stakeholders and their positions.
  • Consider the consequences of your decision.
  • Weigh various guidelines and principles (Virtue,
    Utilitarian, Fairness, Common Good).
  • Develop and evaluate options.
  • Review your decision.
  • Evaluate the results of your decision.

27
Ethics in Information Technology
  • The increased use of information technology has
    raised many ethical issues for todays IT
    professional.
  • Licensing of IT professionals
  • Internet communication
  • Intellectual property
  • Employee/employer issues
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