Case Study 2 – Conflict of Interest

Case Study 2 – Conflict of InterestIntroduction Case Study 2 was selected to be analysed and discussed in terms of Ethics, Professionalism and Governance.Michael is the IT manager in a government department and his department decided to acquire an ERP system. Two local companies have made offers responding to a RFP. Michael found that Company A’s offer is slightly better than that of Company B which was made by Steven, who is the best friend of Michel. Also, Steven asked Michael to favour his company’s offer.In this assignment, how Michael’s friendship with Steven causes an ethical problem will be discussed. The framework, ‘A Guide to Moral Decision Making’ (MacDonald 2010) will be used throughout to analyse, discuss and make recommendations for the case study 2.DiscussionA. Recognising the Moral Dimension· If Michel choose Company A’s offer, it would be right decision for him and his company as it require less cost and no modifications. However, he may upset Steven and their friendship may be at risk.· If Michael choose Company B’s offer, it would not be better decision for him and his company as it require modifications and more cost. However, he can keep his friendship with Steven.B. Who Are the Interested Parties? What are their Relationships?· The interested parties are Michael, Michael’s company, Steven, Company B and Company A.· Michael wants to choose company A’s offer for his company as it requires less cost but also wants to keep his friendship with Steven by choosing company B’s offer.· Steven wants Michael to choose his company B’s offer as Steven needs this work for himself and his company.· Michael’s company wants him to choose a better product with less cost.C. What Values are involved?The relevant ACS codes of Ethics are as follows (ACS 2015);1. The primacy of the Public Interest3. Honesty4. Competence6. ProfessionalismThe relevant clauses from the ACS Code of Professional Conduct are as follows;1.2.1 The primacy of the Public Interest (ACS 2015) b) raise with stakeholders any potential conflicts between your professional activity and legal or other accepted public requirements;Michael should safeguard the interests of his immediate stakeholder which is his company and raise with it this potential conflict between him and Steven. He should then tell his company that this interest do not conflict with his duty as an IT manager.1.2.3 Honesty (ACS 2015) c) distinguish between your professional and personal opinions and advice;Michael should not breach the trust of his company. He should be honest in his representation of products at all times. If he tells his company that company B’s offer is better than company A’s to favour Steven’s company, it will be clearly a breach of conduct. Also, he should strictly distinguish between his professional opinion as IT manager and personal opinions as a friend of Steven’s.1.2.4 Competence (ACS 2015) a) endeavour to provide products and services which match the operational and financial needs of your stakeholders;As an IT manager, Michael should examine the offers carefully and choose the one that provides better operational capability and requires less cost for his company. Choosing company B would not match his company’s financial needs as it’s more expensive. It also would not match his company’s operational needs as ERP modifications can take longer to implement and can cause problems in the future (Nah & Delgado 2006). In addition, if he feels that he is not competent enough to make a decision on this matter, he should ask someone to consult him.1.2.6 Professionalism (ACS 2015) a) take a calm, objective, informed and knowledgeable stance on your professional work, complementing your enthusiasm and engagement in it; f) refrain from any conduct or action in your professional role which may tarnish the image of the profession or detract from the good name of the ACS;As an IT professional, Michael should always take a calm, objective, informed and knowledgeable stance on his professional work, deciding on the ERP system offer in this case, with his enthusiasm and engagement. He should avoid any action that damages the image of IT professionals. If he choose company B’s offer because of his friendship with Steven and this was found by other people, Michael could lose his trust and give a negative image of an IT professional. Furthermore, he could talk to Steven about the reason of not choosing company B’s offer as an IT professional. Steven may understand the situation as he is also an IT professional.Relevant Australian legislations are as follows;1. Crimes Amendment Act 2009 No 99 (NSW 2009)2. Crimes Act 1900 (Austlii 2015)3. Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 (Austlii 2015)D. Weigh the Benefits and the BurdensBenefits of choosing company A· Michael’s company pay less for the ERP system.· The ERP can be implemented straight away as it can be used as-is.· The ERP has less risk as it does not have modificationsBenefits of choosing company B· Michael can keep or even better friendship with Steven.Burdens of choosing company A· Michael feels guilty towards Steven for not choosing company B· Steven may become upset with Michael’s decisionBurdens of choosing company B· Michael’s company needs to pay more· The ERP system may take longer to implement as it requires modifications· The ERP system may have issues in the future because of the modifications· If the ERP has problems, the customers and businesses related to Michael’s company may be affected.E. Look for Analogous CasesMichael can compare this matter with other similar decisions he or his colleagues made.F. Discuss with Relevant OthersMichael should discuss this matter with his colleagues.G. Does this Decision Accord with Legal and Organizational Rules?In this case, the decision will be made based on Code of Ethics that Michael’s company has. If his company does not have one, he could use ACS Code of Professional Conduct. Australian legislations will also be considered where applicable.H. Am I Comfortable with this Decision?If Michael decides to choose the offer of company A, he would be comfortable telling about this to anyone except Steven as he would have reached a right decision for his company and its customers by following the Code of Ethics and Conduct. His action would be appropriate as an IT professional and keep his trust to his company. He could live with this decision despite the fact that his friendship with Steven could be damaged.If Michael decides to take the company B’s offer, he would not be comfortable telling about this to his family or others as he would have reached the decision mainly because of a personal reason which is to keep friendship with Steven and betrayed his company and possibly its customers.Conclusion Michael should choose company A’s offer as it matches the need of his company.Recommendations Michael should inform his company regarding this conflict of interest as soon as he finds out.Michael should examine the offers carefully and choose the one that provides better operational capability and requires less cost for his company.Michael should provide all his findings about the offers to his company, including details of costs, ERP modifications and their possible negative consequences.Michael should talk to his colleague or someone else about this matter if he is not competent enough to decide it alone.He should not choose company B’s offer for the sake of his friendship with Steven as it could damage the image of an IT professional.Michael should explain the situation to Steven.References ACS 2015, ‘Code of Professional Conduct’, Member Conduct, ACS, viewed 14 July 2015, 2015, ‘Crimes Act 1900’, New South Wales Consolidated Acts, viewed 14 July 2015, 2015, ‘Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988’, New South Wales Consolidated Acts, viewed 14 July 2015,, C 2010, ‘A Guide to Moral Decision Making’, viewed 14 July 2015,, F & Delgado, S 2006, ‘Critical success factors for enterprise resource planning implementation and upgrade’, Journal of Computer Information Systems, vol. 47, Special Issue, pp. 99-113, (online EBSCOhost).NSW 2009, ‘Crimes Amendment (Fraud, Identity and Forgery Offences) Act 2009 No 99, viewed 14 July 2015, post Case Study 2 – Conflict of Interest appeared first on Academic Essay Guru.

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