Varieties Conceptions Of Ethical Competence Essay


Discuss About The Varieties Conceptions Of Ethical Competence?



This paper will evaluate the ethical issues provided in Video 2 (Scenario 2: Development methodology) (Al-Saggaf, 2016) by using Doing ethics technique (DET). The Doing ethics technique assists in evaluating ethical and unethical issues in a specific scenario by giving answers to simple questions which are relating to the scenario (Franck, 2017). In this video, a junior developer receives calls directly from the client. The client requested on the call regarding making new changes to the software. The junior management confirms the client that the company will make such changes in order to make him happy. The junior developer also confirms that the software will be delivered by the corporation within the set deadline after making new changes.

What are the facts?

  • The client directly calls the junior developer in order to suggest some new changes to the software.
  • The junior developer confirms such changes to the client without consulting or taking permission from the project manager.
  • The junior developer also confirms to the client that the company will make such changes to the software and deliver with within the set deadline.

What are the issues (non-ethical)?

  • The key issue in the case is that the junior developer approves new changes requested by the client without consulting them with the project manager.
  • It is unethical that the junior manager overrode the organisational hierarchy without confirming with the project manager.
  • The project manager violated the communication process by directly dealing with the client regarding changes made to the contract. He acts over his authority by accepting the changes requested by the client without forwarding them to the client.

Who is affected?

The stakeholders in this scenario include the client, project manager, organisation, and junior developer. In case the company is unable to deliver the software with requested changes, the client will be dissatisfied with the company and might face negative consequences if the software is not delivered on time. The reputation of the software developing company will also be negatively affected if they are unable to deliver the software with new changes within the deadline. The project manager will be held responsible if the company is not able to deliver the software with new changes within the deadline and without increasing the budget. The junior developer can lose his job because of breaking the communication chain and overridden his positive psychology.

What are the ethical issues and their implications?

The Deontological ethics theory assesses the morality of a situation or scenario by evaluating the rightness of actions rather than morality of their consequences (Mehri & Dirbaz, 2010). The Utilitarianism ethics theory assesses the morality of a situation by evaluating its consequences rather than actions (Vessel, 2010). In this scenario, the junior developer breaks the organisational communication process in order to make the client happy. The consequence of his action might be fruitful for the company, but his actions were unethical since he overrides the organisational hierarchy. Therefore, based on the principles of deontological ethics theory, actions of the junior manager are unethical (Bisel, Messersmith & Kelley, 2012). The negative implications of actions can affect different stakeholders such as client, software developing company, project manager and junior developer himself. The project manager and junior developer can lose their jobs, and the software developing company can lose its market reputation and clients. The client will also suffer if the company is not able to deliver the software on time.

What can be done about it?

In this scenario, the project manager can make junior developer realise his mistake, and he can make sure that in the future he forward such calls to the project manager. It is necessary that the project manager take this matter to the project director and discuss the issue with him. The project manager can also contact the client to understand why new changes have been requested and do such changes require modifications in the service contract. The project manager is also required to ensure that such changes did not increase the overall budget and deadline for the project.

What are the options?

  1. The project manager can scream and curse at the junior developer for not complying with the organisational communication process and for overriding position hierarchy. It can discourage junior developer, and he might quit his job.
  2. The project manager can ensure that the junior manager understands his mistake, and he understands his position in the organisational hierarchy. He can request the developer to deliver such calls to him in the future. He also requires consulting with the project director and the client for making new changes to the software.
  3. The project manager can take no actions against the junior developer and encourage his actions in order to make the client happy. It can result in increasing overall budget for the software and company might not be able to deliver it within the deadline.

Which option is the best and why?

The second option is the best because in this option the implications of unethical actions taken by the junior developer are minimised. In this option, the junior manager realises his mistake and understand the provision of hierarchy and communication chain. The project manager should consult with project director before dealing with the client to ensure that implementing such changes will not increase overall budget and deadline. However, the consequences of this option might result in stopping the software development process, and it might require changes in the service contract. Although in this option, the relationship between the client and the corporation is maintained along with the relationship between junior developer and project manager.


Al-Saggaf, Y. (2016, October 31). Scenario 2: Development Methodology. [management]. Retrieved from

Bisel, R. S., Messersmith, A. S., & Kelley, K. M. (2012). Supervisor-subordinate communication: Hierarchical mum effect meets organizational learning. The Journal of Business Communication (1973), 49(2), 128-147.

Franck, O. (2017). Varieties of conceptions of ethical competence and the search for strategies for assessment in ethics education: A critical analysis. In Assessment in Ethics Education (pp. 13-50). Springer, Cham.

Mehri, H., & Dirbaz, A. (2010). The Relation between Theory of Justice of John Rawls by Kant's Ethics and Hegel's philosophy of Right. Comparative Theology, 1(4), 53-72.

Vessel, J. P. (2010). Supererogation for utilitarianism. American Philosophical Quarterly, 47(4), 299-319.

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