understanding the individual

Ten percent of the grade for this class will come from a report that displays your understanding of the individual in the organization



The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate your perception of how the individual fits into an organization in terms of identity, ethics, and loyalty. For this assignment, read the Software Engineering Code of Ethics and analyze the problem described in the blockquote below in a brief paper (2-5 pages). [or the equivalent of a paper, if you wish. See below.] You may consult additional sources as you wish, but if you do, remember to include the citations in a bibliography at the end of your paper. Your paper will be evaluated according to your analysis of the decisions an individual would have had to have made in the situation described below.


Jack is a software programmer for a large internet service provider (ISP). He has worked for the company for more than ten years and he is reputedly one of the best in the business. Recently, he was tasked with the responsibility of adding a new feature to the corporate Intranet of one of ISP’s largest clients, ACME Publishing. The new feature will allow ACME’s employees to share files more easily. As he began the work, he discovered a glitch in the security for the site that had left the organization vulnerable to outside access for over three years.

Jack was concerned about the glitch. Although he fixed it quickly and easily, he knew that his company was responsible for it. A careful testing of the site at the time it was created would have revealed the problem, so someone at ISP had not done his job well. He checked the security logs and could not find any evidence that the site had been invaded or hacked, but he was concerned just the same. ACME Publishing’s revenues have been declining over the last few years. One of their most prolific authors took her latest project to another publisher and ACME failed to sign two promising new mystery writers.

Jack informed Mike, his manager, of the glitch. Mike seemed unconcerned as long as the problem had been repaired, but Jack was uneasy. Jack felt that the client should be informed of the glitch, and he felt that the company should take immediate action to test all production systems and to ensure that proper testing procedures were followed in the future. Mike assured him that there was nothing that could be done about the past, and assured him that the legal fine print of the contract with ACME protected ISP from responsibility. “The information on the site is ACME’s problem, not ours – we just design and configure the system,” said Mike. “However, we will add steps to verify our testing processes in the future.”


The above case involves two types of organizations:

  1. the internet service provider that employed Jack
  2. and the client, ACME Publishing

If there had been a breach in security of the site, others could be affected as well –

  • authors
  • suppliers
  • distributors
  • employees
  • and anyone else who conducts business with ACME

Although there is no evidence that anyone ever hacked into the system, the system was vulnerable to hackers for three years.

What are the individual identity, ethical, and loyalty issues of this case?
What roles does Jack fill in this situation, and which of those roles are in conflict?
What roles does Mike fill and which of those roles are in conflict?
Can role conflict explain their behavior?
What should Jack do?
What should his company do?
If faced with this problem yourself, what would you do?
If you were the CEO of ACME, and you learned about the glitch, how would you feel about ISP and what would you do?


Include your answer in a product roughly equivalent to a 2-5 page paper.

You may use any tool you wish to accomplish this task (a document; a PowerPoint presentation; a Prezi presentation; anything)

But do be sure to place the deliverable in your Sakai dropbox and tell the instructor when it may be retrieved from the dropbox



Due by: 2359 hours on Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017

Grade What it means What I will be looking for
A Mastery in understanding the individual perspective in terms of identity, ethics, and loyalty at the highest level of attainment that can reasonably be expected Well written with no grammatical errors, well-articulated discussion of the topic; it shows evidence of your having absorbed all of the key points of the individual module, and that you described them in such quality that one could expect you to teach the module
A- A totally acceptable performance demonstrating an adequate level of understanding the individual in these three contexts An insightful discussion of the topic, with no grammatical errors. It is extremely good, but leaves the reader feeling that your understanding of the issues is perhaps a bit less than professionally sophisticated, in terms of depth of analysis.
B+ Really good, but perhaps a bit shallower in terms of your understanding one or more of the contexts; you may have a few grammatical issues in your writing; you may not have used relevant examples to explain your points; you may not have fully addressed all the elements requested
B Good, but perhaps a bit shallower in terms of your understanding several variants of the three contexts; you may have several grammatical issues in your writing; you may not have used relevant examples to explain your points; you may not have fully addressed all the elements requested; you did not use terminology that we discussed in the module sessions
B- Good, but not as good as it could have been; you may not have fully addressed all the elements requested
C+ A marginal performance demonstrating a minimal passing level OK, in terms of grasping the essentials, but not good in terms of articulating your understanding in a manner that is easy to read and appreciate
C You seem to understand the essential points of the module, but you did not articulate your understanding well enough to do more than the minimum
C- It's time to start wondering if you missed something important, if you misunderstood the task, if you did not understand the key elements
D+ This is a warning that you are not currently on the right path; you might need to have a discussion with the instructor about this performance
D There are indications that you were present and that you sort of grasped what we had discussed, but missed the key points to such a degree that you really need to re-group and catch up
F For whatever reasons an unacceptable performance If it's unacceptable, it is unacceptable; it should be as obvious to you as it is to the instructor