Worksheet: Prioritisation or professional judgement?
All staff at the ABC Company are members of the Australian Computer Society (ACS) and the Association for Computer Machinery (ACM). Use these Codes of Ethics to determine if the action taken in each scenario uses prioritisation or professional judgement. State the reason why you chose the method.
Sam works for ABC Company. His boss has recently been going through a divorce, which drained him emotionally and financially. His boss had written cheques for $5000 for his personal use. The management is sympathetic to his situation. Sam’s boss is now paying back the money on a monthly basis.
The ACS and ACM were advised of the situation. The ACS revoked his membership as he had violated the Code of Ethics 4.10.2 I must not knowingly engage in, or be associated with, dishonest or fraudulent practices. The ACM revoked his membership as he had violated the Code of Ethics 2.3 Know and respect existing laws pertaining to professional work.
Everyone at ABC Company was shocked when they heard the news. Sam’s boss’s colleagues have reacted in different ways. Sam decided to be civil to his boss. He continues to work with him in the best way possible but does distance himself from him.
Determine which ethical approach was used by Sam to deal with the unethical behaviour: prioritisation or professional judgement. Then select any sections from the two Codes of Ethics that apply to Sam’s situation.
James has recently started selling vintage clothes on eBay for additional income. He creates documents and organises his new sales business from his full time position at ABC Company. He uses his ABC Company work email account for buyers to contact him.
James’s colleague, Srina, is using his home computer and comes across James’s vintage clothing site. He notices the work email address.
The next day Srina asks James about the vintage clothing site, telling him how shocked he was to see James using the work email account. James assures Srina that as soon as he has enough money to purchase a computer, he will do all his personal work from home. He will also apply for a personal email account through his ISP. So far James has not sold anything from eBay and has not received any email enquiries.
Srina is unsure what to do. He decides not to do anything for one month. If the work account is still being used, he will advise his boss then.
Consider the reaction of Srina in this scenario: has he used prioritisation or professional judgement?
Carlos tries to convince his colleagues to attend a one week course. None of them can afford it. He approaches his boss to provide funding for the course, but discovers the department has already overspent this year’s budget.
Carlos creates his own three-day compact version of the course and delivers this to his colleagues.
What ethical method has Carlos used, professional judgement or prioritisation? And what has he based his judgement on?