301005 – PPC Ethics and Codes of Conduct
Assignment on Ethics and Codes of Conduct
Assignment on Ethics and Codes of Conduct (25%)
Assignment due in week 11, Saturday, 2nd October, 11:59 pm
Note: The Ethical and Codes of Conduct report is an individual assignment There are
two parts of this assignment. Answer both parts. The word limit is specified for each
section and major report.
Part 1 (5 marks)
Read the following case study and answer questions related to the case study.
SDX Alliance is a large company that sells computers, computer components, and software.
Ralph is hired as an entry-level software engineer at SDX Alliance. His first project was to
assist in writing the code for SDX Alliance’s new hard disc controller. He had previously
worked on a similar system interning at a start-up and had written a code which greatly
enhanced the performance of their product. Ralph quietly re-uses this same code in the SDX
Alliance product, and does not think to tell anyone that he has used the code from his last job.
His manager is thrilled with the speed improvements this code brings to the product.
Before the product is released, it has to undergo a four-month long quality assurance process
review. During the review of the product, it was found the code which Ralph developed had
been copyrighted by the startup he had previously worked for. Even though Ralph had
developed the code, his previous company still owned the intellectual property rights to it.
When his manager informed Ralph of the problem, Ralph admits he did not realize he had made
a mistake because he was not familiar with copyright laws. Ralph then goes on to explain that
the start-up he used to work for is now out of business and is unsure if SDX Alliance would be
able to get in contact with the owner of the copyright. If SDX Alliance can’t use Ralph’s code,
then it will have to rewrite the entire code of the product, delaying its release by many months.
(Taken from Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University).
Q1. What are the issues of integrity, ethics and law posed in the case study? (150 -200
Q2. What should they do? (100 -150 Words).
Page 2 of 2
Part 2 (20 marks)
Prepare an investigative written report relevant to ethics and professional code of
conducts on the selected case study. The maximum length of the report is 1200 words; 5%
variation is accepted.
Select a real case study on the topic given in the following list. The case study is an event or an
occurrence of a situation related to ethics and code of conduct issues and should not be very
old. While some topics are suggested, you are encouraged to choose any other suitable topic.
You need to research information on Internet related to the selected case study topic. The
research material can be publications, news articles, research papers, books, etc.
Your report should have following:
(i) Executive summary
(ii) Brief discussion of selected case study and the context of the case study.
(iii) Nature of the ethical issues, and relevant facts, and the consequences.
(iv) Relate issues identified in the case study with the relevant industry sector’s ethics
and professional code of conduct.
(v) Identify affected stakeholders in the case study.
(vi) Suggest feasible recommendations to resolve the ethical issues.
List of Topics on Case Studies (Select any one):
- Pollution of local river
- Facebook data breach
- Train disaster
- Collapse of bridge
- Disposal of lithium batteries
- Failure of Dam
- Deforestation in Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Collapse of multistorey building structure
- Reserve bank bribery case