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Management of Information Systems and Corporate Ethics

In the business world, every organization has its mission, vision and defined goals. Today, the world is in a digital era, and organizations utilize automated Information Technology  (IT) systems to manage and protect information, reduce risk thus achieve their mission. Management Information Systems refers to the use of particular systems to give managers reports on their current and past operations. This helps the management in decision-making, and problem solving. The use of a good IT system can make an organization adhere to its corporate ethics and avoid scandals. The following summary of an article reflects the role of Information Technology Systems, Management of Information Systems in helping an organization to meet its corporate ethics, and responsibilities while adhering to the federal rules, and regulations. The essay also shows the role of the chief information officer in leading an organization towards achieving its objectives.

In the article, Business Ethics: Steering Clear of Scandal, Mary Pratt illustrates how IT leaders can aid their companies to avoid ethical problems. In the current digitalized era, the IT staff at Texas Health Resources Inc. is obligated to help in technical functions, meet its ethical standards, and comply with rules and regulations. According to the Deputy Chief Information Officer at the organization, Michael Alverson, the system should eliminate unethical behaviors and promote corporate ethics (Pratt 1). According to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the medical records of a patient should be kept private. The records should also be easily accessible to the doctors, nurses, caregivers and the patient. The system should ensure that cases of malpractices where unauthorized information access can endanger the life and privacy of a patient are blocked.

IT employers at this nonprofit healthcare organization have to comply with certain ethical standards. There are clear-cut organization policies that prohibit them from taking gifts so that they can influence decision-making in the procurement system. Procurement has to get to purchase an IT system that helps in meeting the quality, and the needs of the organization. If the organization has to procure a new system, they have to seek the Business Ethics council.

The policies of ethics dictate that a company has to do the right thing. This means that they have to adhere to certain values like environmental sustainability, commit themselves to the community, and this can help employers to work. The ethics play a great role in enabling a company to meet rules and regulations of the federal government, meet the consumer and employee demands while ensuring profitability. Mike Distelhost, a law professor at Capital University Law School says that, the objectives of corporate ethics can be met appropriately only if an organization decides to use a good technological system (Pratt 2).

The involvement of IT experts in policy making greatly contribute to the corporate strategy. They often know the capabilities, and weaknesses of a system, and how scandals should be blocked. The Executive Director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University, Kirk O. Hanson, says that system should be able to monitor information access to avoid violation of company policy (Pratt 2). Unauthorized information access can lead to the downfall of an organization. It is important to note that the system should be designed in a way that guarantees authorized accessibility, and at the same time identify any attempt to breach it.

It is possible for organizations to get systems that can effectively analyze customer satisfaction after surveys have been carried out. This can help to reveal worker’s compliance to business and organizational ethics. An organization can also design a system that enables it to screen the values of its business partners like subcontractors. This can help to eliminate malpractices like bribery. Today, the world is coming to terms with global warming, an organization should get a system that enables it to track its energy use and indicate inefficiencies. IT leaders especially the Chief Information Officer should act as a bridge, and help organizations to get a system that helps them to meet their social responsibility programs, and comply with business ethics.

Intel Corp. can best illustrate this. According to its CIO, Diane Byrant, the company has an Ethics and Compliance Oversight Committee. This committee is based on the five key principles of both the workers and the company. These are the Company should carry out business both with integrity, and with honesty; Intel and its workers should comply with the law; employees should treat each other with fairness; employees should not engage themselves in conflicts of interest with the organization, and they should protect the reputation and assets of the company (Pratt 3).

The IT staff at Intel has built an IT system that helps the company to meet this requirement. This has made it accountable in accordance to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. There are also workers who handle documentation systems, and retain records, which is extremely essential in legal cases. Intel’s IT systems have enabled it to implement its corporate values. They have a system that enables them to scrutinize their suppliers to ensure that their ethical values and standards meet with those of Intel. At its data centers, the organization has excellent systems that monitor energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions and aim at controlling the hazardous effects of global warming (Pratt 3). The organization has systems that will check for any improper behavior like the leaking of Intellectual Property to the public.

In general, the organization has used solutions that aid in protection of its basic five principles, says Byrant. CIO’s should be at the forefront in building and implementing such systems instead of receiving orders from the executive management. Information management does not involve blocking of certain websites that may risk a company’s future and profitability. It should have systems that support daily activities of an organization, its business ethics, and responsibility programs.

This article illustrates the need of Management of Information Systems in an organization. It shows the significance of the CIO in helping an organization to formulate and meet its strategic long and short-term goals. The CIO controls the implementation of technology so that the organization can have increased access to vital information, and integrated management of systems. In general, the CIO plays a key role in implementing practices, and processes that ensuring that information flows freely throughout the organization.

This article has highlighted the benefits of MIS. Organizations structures have aligned themselves to meet with the demands of information management. Managers are able to have supervised their employees in an efficient manner, and in less time than before. These systems have led to a decentralized system of decision making without losing the awareness of an organization’s management. Organizations are able to divide themselves into distinct units, effectively utilize information and thus cut down costs and reduce unnecessary complexities. 

In conclusion, the management of information dictates the profitability of an organization. It is easy to know who made a certain decision or action. The incentive system should be used to determine how the decision-maker should be rewarded or punished depending on the outcome of his or her action. IT can cut expenditures involved in processing and transferring both quantitative and qualitative organization. A good example is the manual trading of stocks on the conventional trading floors. A lot of money was spent on hiring brokers. The use of “screen-based” systems has saved resources in share trading. In the business world today, the information systems are the key to survival and profitability.

Work Cited

Pratt, K. Mary. Business Ethics: Steering Clear of Scandal. CIO. 2009. Web. 18 Nov 2010.

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