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  • Hughes Profession Learning Objective
    help students see how they could influence an organization s procedures based on their professional expertise ImpactCS Elements and Skills ES1 4 Definition of computing as a profession ES1 5 Codes of ethics and professional responsibility for computer professionals ES2 2 Ethical choices cannot be avoided ES2 3 Some easy ethical approaches are questionable Naive Relativism Naive Egoism Naive Agency Naive Legalism ES4 2 Power relations are central in all

    Original URL path: http://computingcases.org/case_materials/hughes/exercises/profession_exercise/hughes_prof_learn_obj.html (2016-04-30)
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  • Hughes Profession Intrustor Guide
    of employment in a large organization After doing this exercise students might be more motivated to read some of the suggested links below on software engineering and professionalism A follow up exercise and assignment would have students write position papers or engage in a debate about whether software engineers should be licensed This exercise relates centrally to ethical issues in the use of power It would be useful for at least the instructor to review the ethical analysis on the use of power document The criteria match up with different kinds of power that professional have both over others and over each other It would be an interesting exercise to classify the kinds of power or freedom from influence to which the different criteria refer For instance requires specialized knowledge is about expert and informational power but since it mentions an advanced degree it is also about referent power Time required If the reading and analysis are done outside of class this exercise can take 15 minutes as a whole class discussion of the criteria The exercise is unlikely to take more than 40 minutes when done with small group discussion in class Links for the Instructor Greenwood E Attributes of a Profession in Moral Responsibility and the Professions Eds Bernard Baumrin and Benjamin Freedman Haven Publications New York 1983 Possible difficulties Student will be tempted to think that professional means acted professionally as a term of general and vague praise This really means acted like a responsible adult and is not connected to professional status in any but the vaguest way Use the list of characteristics to head this misinterpretation off Concentrate on whether the type of work Goodearl or Saia did their occupation was of professional status Students may feel stymied in their search for answers to the

    Original URL path: http://computingcases.org/case_materials/hughes/exercises/profession_exercise/hughes_prof_inst_guide.html (2016-04-30)
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  • Hughes Profession Exercise Resources
    Analysis on Power Specific exercise materials Criteria for whether an occupation is a profession To determine if an occupation has the characteristics of a profession ask the following five questions about it The items listed under each of the questions are examples of ways that the question might be answered in the affirmative The stronger the evidence for each of the sub criteria and the more sub criteria that are true the more likely that question should be answered yes For this exercise use the evidence from the case to determine if the occupation that Margaret Goodearl or Frank Saia was following count as professions Require Specialized Knowledge A Specialized Degree A Systematic body of knowledge Regulate itself Have a primary or a few competing organizations Regulate professional behavior of members Control admission to the profession Have a recognized set of ethics A Code of ethics with enforcement see regulation above A culture of shared pro social values and norms A dedication to service to the larger public Have social status Well paid Thought of as a respectable occupation A strong occupational identification Have Autonomy in decision making Professional authority to make decisions Credibility for decisions Independence in employment Questions

    Original URL path: http://computingcases.org/case_materials/hughes/exercises/profession_exercise/hughes_prof_exerc_resource.html (2016-04-30)
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  • Hughes Abstract
    be tested to make sure they can withstand the stress Unfortunately the need to manufacture and deliver these chips on time can compete with the desire to test them thoroughly In the mid 1980s Hughes Microelectronics was manufacturing what were called hybrid microchips for use in guidance systems and other military programs A series of environmental tests were specified by the government contract But pressure to ship chips out on

    Original URL path: http://computingcases.org/case_materials/hughes/support_docs/hughes_case_narr/abstract.html (2016-04-30)
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  • Hughes
    rise of the use of computing technology in defense During the 1980 s Hughes Aircraft was one of the top defense contractors in the nation Hughes Microelectronics was producing chips that were used in at least 73 different military programs during the time from 1985 to 1987 The programs are very important and lethal systems F 14 F 15 and B 52 aircraft guided missiles radar systems satellites and tanks The list covers every branch of the military and many other major defense corporations The chips that Hughes Microelectronics was manufacturing were shipped to all these programs as customers Some customers were really other divisions of Hughes Aircraft and other customers were other defense contractors who were using Hughes parts to produce their own systems for the US government or other purchasers of arms Multi year and multi system contracts of the kind that Hughes Microelectronics had with the government were worth billions of dollars to Hughes and to its parent companies So it was clearly in Hughes best interest to meet the guidelines of the contracts Some guidelines however can exert more immediate pressure than others Customers including the US military call and ask where the chips are that

    Original URL path: http://computingcases.org/case_materials/hughes/support_docs/hughes_case_narr/hughes.html (2016-04-30)
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  • Quality Assurance
    In the process of walking around in among her workers Ibarra s job was to check on how the tests were being followed in environmental testing She did not supervise the girls in environmental testing but she was there as an inspector The main tool she used in her inspections was a close reading of the paperwork that followed each chip as it went through the testing process Each chip took about 10 days to get through the entire process of testing Paperwork called a lot traveler traveled through the process with each chip The lot traveler specified what kind of chip it was and what tests it should undergo These lot travelers were the center piece of the whole process Everything that was to be done to the chips was specified in the lot traveler and once it was done needed to be noted on the lot traveler When the part left the factory the lot traveler stayed behind as the authoritative record of what had happened to that particular chip Thus falsifying a lot traveler was like lying about what tests were being done The role of Ibarra and other supervisors was made more difficult by the fact that some chips that were quite similar might have completely different testing routines For instance about 2 of the chips being tested were called proof of design chips that engineers were working on These would not be shipped to customers but were for internal use as the engineers tried out different designs The engineers occasionally wanted these new designs tested and so would send the chips down to testing with their own lot travelers specifying the tests they wanted These would be tested differently and perhaps with more loose standards than the chips that were being sent to customers To

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  • Goodearl Gets a Warning
    tremendous environmental stress from dust vibration and impact heat and cold and long term exposure Thus the chips needed to be able to withstand these environmental pressures The chips were protected against the environment by a metal cap that would seal off everything about the chip except the connectors from the harsh environment But the sealing process itself could damage the chips or might not have been done correctly or the chip might fail because of some internal flaw that would become evident only under stress This is where Margaret Goodearl s testing group came in They tested the chips after they were sealed and before they were sent out to their customers Often other divisions of Hughes were the customers and were assembling aircraft or weapons from the parts they received These customers in turn sold the assembled aircraft and weapons to the US government In an ideal world the chips Hughes was sending to its customers and thereby on to the government would be subjected to rigorous environmental tests Those chips that failed would either be reworked if the contract allowed it or scrapped Only thoroughly tested chips would be delivered because of the critical nature of the military systems involved At first things were fine She shared a desk with LaRue on the floor of the testing area with a view of all the testing stations She followed LaRue around the environmental testing area learned how to do all the tests and became acquainted with all the girls that she would be supervising they were called this even though a few were male She learned how and when to make exceptions to the required tests and learned all the different protocols associated with each test She learned how to quickly read a lot traveler or the paperwork

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  • Make sure of your motivation
    this motivation to becoming a disgruntled former employee To punish someone for their behavior toward you When we are injured by others or when others thwart our reasonable desires towards reform in an organization it is easy to get angry at the individuals who stand in our way But again this motivation will distract you from your real goal to change the behavior or policy of the organization It will also make you an easy target for retaliation if it is clear that you have a personal agenda in your whistleblowing case Hughes lawyers at the civil trial spent a great deal of their trial time attaching the credibility of Margaret Goodearl and her partner in the suit Ruth Ibarra Aldred by the time of the court hearings But the lawyers avoided any claim that Goodearl and Aldred had a vendetta against the company Their behavior within the organization and their steadfast concentration on the wrongdoing rather than on the wrongdoers made this defense unavailable to Hughes To maintain your personal integrity If you feel you are being asked to engage in behavior that is unethical you will likely want to distance yourself from it But you may be able to distance yourself from unethical behavior or policy and maintain your own integrity without blowing the whistle This motivation may not require changing the behavior or policy of the organization but simply distancing yourself from that behavior To save your organization s reputation and finances It might seem paradoxical to make allegations public in order to save an organization s reputation but it is a reasonable motivation nonetheless If you have reason to believe the organization will eventually get in trouble for their actions making allegations public now may save the organization from greater damage later If your goal is

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