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Ethical Case Study Answer

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By broskully
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The Case of the Troubled Computer Programmer
By: William J. Frey
This case study was developed from a scenario provided by Olga Rosas-Velez, presented before the DOLCE workshop, summer 2000.
You are a computer programmer working for a small business that provides specialized financial services to local, mostly small businesses. You have been working for company X for about six months. Recently X has been occupied with reengineering the inventory system of a local hardware chain, ABC Hardware. The objective is to enable ABC to keep better track of their inventory, to be more responsive to changes in customer demand, and to adopt a “just in time” strategy to reduce inventory.
Your supervisor calls you into his office. “Do you know of any existing software products to help ABC keep better track of its inventory?” You mention a particular product that you have worked with in another job and point out that ABC could use it without any modification. The only drawback, you point out, is that this software is somewhat expensive. Your supervisor leans back in his chair, puffs on his cigar and says, “That’s no problem. We have that software. Why don’t you just install it on
ABC’s computers?”

You diplomatically indicate that this would violate the licensing agreement X has with the developers of the software. “Do it anyway,” your supervisor says. “Nobody’s going to find out, and ABC is a very important client. We need to do all we can to keep them happy.”

What should you do?
1. Go ahead and install the software on ABC’s computers. After all, your supervisor is right: nobody will know what you have done.

Furthermore, you haven’t been

working for this company very long and don’t want to be branded a troublemaker.

2. Refuse to do it. Make it clear to your supervisor that he is putting you in a very difficult position, and you are not happy...

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