The Case of the Troubled Computer Programmer

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Troubled computer programmer - case study(1)


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 area computer programmer working fora small business that provides specialized financial services to local, mostly small businesses. You have been working for company X for about six months. Recently company 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. 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 within 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 canto keep them happy
What should you dob idiv

Case Study Analysis
20 marks

In groups of no more than 4 students conduct an ethical analysis of the case above following the instructions below Identify the action you want to base your analysis on (What should you dob i (answer this question, then base your analysis on this answer)

Identify the stakeholders (2 marks)
• Identify alternative actions in any situation alternatives that will prevent unethical actions (
Identify areas of responsibility in relation to each stakeholder
(4 marks)

• for the purpose of Harm/Benefit analysis, identify the stakeholders and conduct an analysis
(drawing tables like the ones we used in the practice sessions can help you)
(4 marks)
• for the purpose of Virtue/Vices analysis, identify the stakeholders and list the virtues and vices relevant to each stakeholder
(4 marks)
Provide ab general conclusion
based on your analysis (
3 marks)

Submit your document to your teacher via
on or before 28th March. You can
take 2 weeks to work on this with your group, during these two weeks there are no lectures. Don't forget
to put your Student names and ID numbers in the document before submitting.
To avoid losing marks


• Avoid short or shallow answers. unless if you are listing virtues and vices that are clearly understood, your answers need to contain some clarification. Even some virtues and vices need some clarification as to how they are relevant in a particular situation.
• Think about the case above from the Intellectual Property Rights concepts you learned in class. Concepts you learned about Intellectual Property Rights should influence your answers and analysis.
• Take time to think about each point. Doing the analysis in a hurry will result in shallow answers and you will overlook important points.
• Link any relevant legal, societal, religious laws or traditions to the case.

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