Shared Practice—Why It Is Important to Have a Code of Conduct

In our business lives, we are faced with challenges and compromises to our ethical foundations, and sometimes we are caught in a conundrum. Organizations that develop and utilize a “code of ethics” or a “code of conduct” can assist employees in understanding what they should or should not do when they are caught in a potential compromising position. If properly advocated and modeled by leadership, the code of ethics or a code of conduct can make decision making more streamlined and a much less stressful process. Some of the areas where they can assist in decision making with legal and ethical issues are:

  • Social Media
  • Identity Theft
  • Intellectual Property Rights
  • Workplace Privacy
  • Software Piracy
  • Patent/Copyright Protection
  • Patent/Copyright Infringement
  • Employee Computer Use

For this week’s Shared Practice Discussion, you will begin by carefully reading the weekly article readings from Brooks (2010), De George (2000), and Mingers & Walsham (2010).

Once you have completed your reading, search for at least two examples of code of conduct/ethics policies from a publically traded company. You may want to look at several such policies to get a broad sense of what they cover.

By Day 5:

Post the following:

  • Share your assessment of the importance of utilizing a code of ethics to direct solid business decision making when managing business information and information systems.
  • Provide 2 or 3 examples of code of conduct/ethics policies related to the use and management of information and information systems.
  • Summarize your observations about the code of conduct/ethics you reviewed and the major themes you found in your search of these important policy statements as they pertain to the use and management of information and information systems.
  • Describe how you, as a manager, will ensure that your conduct and the conduct of your employees as it pertains to the use of data, information, and information systems/technology aligns with the ethical standards of the organization and the applicable regulations that must be followed. What specific steps can you take, and how will you serve as a role model?

Please be specific, and remember to use citations and references as appropriate and necessary.

Read a selection of the posts submitted by your colleagues.

By Day 7:

Respond to two or more of your classmates in one or more of the following ways:

  • Offer your thoughts on where the example codes of conduct provided by your colleague either assisted or could have assisted in preventing negative consequences. Support your position by suggesting potential scenarios to which the code of conduct/ethics may apply.
  • Offer specific examples from your experience or observations/research of situations where such codes would have made decision making simpler or kept individuals from making bad choices in the use or management of information or information systems.
  • Compare the findings of your colleague with your own. What insights did you gain or can you offer as a result of your comparison? Did your colleague take a stand regarding the value of establishing a code of conduct/ethics related to information and information systems that was different from yours, and if so, was the argument made persuasively, or do you think your stand is still more appropriate? Defend your position with evidence and specific examples.
  • Offer your insights on how a code of conduct can assist businesses operating globally when there are potential compromises as a result of different cultural norms, practices, expectations, or regulations. Provide examples of where global practices might differ and what managers may need to ensure their employees are not compromised in various situations that may occur. Provide specific examples from your experience or observations.
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