Case Study on Professional Issues of Interactive Media


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Tong Xu's group assignment on case study---The House of McAdam.

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Case Study on Professional Issues of Interactive Media

  1. 1. The House of McAdam Case Study Estelle Kim Michael Hochkeppel Arthur Mencke Eoghan Fitzgibbon Tong Xu Ye Meng
  2. 2. Case Study Overview Julian and Margaret McAdam are waiting to hear back from CreditWorthy, a credit rating company, to be approved for a mortgage in order to purchase their new house. When CreditWorthy runs a background check, they notice that Julian McAdam had defaulted on a previous mortgage and reports back to Red Rose Bank For that reason, the McAdams were unable to receive the mortgage and ended up losing the house. The McAdams were extremely disappointed in losing the house and after investigating the problem; CreditWorthy discovered that there was an error in the database Julian McAdam was mistaken for a different person with the same name and date of birth Because of this database error, the McAdams were unable to purchase their new house It was discovered that there was an increasing number of complaints with the same issue and after this incident had happened, it was reported to the Vice President of CreditWorthy Pam, the head of information systems, proposed that the database could be modified to use alphanumeric identifiers for each person so that this mistake would be eliminated in the future However, the cost-benefit analysis did not clearly show that CreditWorthy would take away any financial gain The Vice President of CreditWorthy then decided that since this problem is too small to matter, he thought that the database should be left alone and did not authorize the modification.
  3. 3. Possible Solutions Considering the mistaken identity problem within the database, there are two different possible solutions that can be taken The first solution is to modify the database and add alphanumeric identifiers so that each person can be uniquely identified and to reduce the risk of this problem from ever happening again. However, to modify the database, it will cost CreditWorthy some money. The second possible solution is to leave the database alone Because this error only affects such a small group of people, one must consider the cost-benefit analysis In order to modify the database, it will cost CreditWorthy some money to fix a problem that might not ever happen again.
  4. 4. Arguments for Leaving the System Alone Utilitarian Approach The utilitarianism approach considers the greatest good for the overall group when determining the moral worth of an action. When looking at what’s best for the overall group, one should consider CreditWorthy, the majority group who isn’t affected by this error, and the small group that is affected by this error In this case for CreditWorthy, an analyst concluded that the cost-benefit analysis for modifying the system would not clearly show a financial gain Henry Webster, the Vice President of CreditWorthy, made the authorized decision that CreditWorthy shouldn’t change the system He considers the error too small to matter since it only affects such a small group of people There were also analysts employed by Creditworthy that according to Eoghan “did investigate the possibility of upgrading the system but found it financially unviable” (Structure of case: 26 March 2009, 02:25 PM) Although the database analyst thought it important to change both morally and potentially financially, Eoghan states that “the opinion of the database analyst is not relevant when it pertains to financial matters” (Re: Utilitarian Approach: 19 March 2009, 08:05 PM) Although Pam is entitled to an opinion, it is not relevant as she has no professional training in finance and would not be expected in her role as an analyst to perform financial risk assessments. Likewise, when considering the vast majority of CreditWorthy’s customers, the database does not cause any problems for them Changing the system would not bring any benefits to the majority of the customers and could only cause potential
  5. 5. problems For example, if modifying the system, there could be some downtime or more errors to potentially happen while changing the database Which then results into causing more problems for the majority of CreditWorthy’s customers The best action for the majority of the customers who aren’t affected by this error would also be to the leave the system alone. As for the few customers who are negatively affected by the database error, although the best course of action for them would be to modify the system, Michael Hochkeppel states, “their few needs are overpowered by all others seeking to leave the system” (Utilitarian Approach: 16 March 2009, 03:45 PM). So when taking the utilitarian approach, it is clear that the best action for the overall group would be to leave the system alone. As was also pointed out by Eoghan, “It is unlikely that every occurrence of the situation will result in the borrowers losing out on the possible purchase they wish to make” (Re: Utilitarian Approach: 19 March 2009, 08:47 PM). A very small number could possibly be affected and even if they were, the likelihood of the house they wished to purchase being removed from the market would be even smaller considering the amount of time it takes for a house sale to be processed. One might argue that when considering a utilitarian approach, that you should consider the possibility that CreditWorthy’s ratings and customers will start to decrease if this problem continues because it shows that CreditWorthy cannot deliver reliable identity credit ratings Another counter argument is that right now, yes it may seem that only a small group of people are affected by this error;
  6. 6. however, as the population increases, so will the number of incidents These are all valid counter arguments to consider when thinking about what is best for the overall group, but there are also counter-counter arguments to address them. Michael Hochkeppel replies in his post to defend his viewpoint on taking a utilitarian approach to leave the system alone: “I feel a general point that has been made in the last several posts is that CreditWorthy should be responsible for delivering a 100% accurate product Although this is a wonderful conceptual goal, companies do not actually aim for this because it would ruin them financially to fix errors of that small a scale Instead they shoot for numbers like 99.9997%, the best rating possibly by the Six Sigma standard, a standard used by companies like Motorola, Korea Telecom, GE, Ford, Canada Post, and so many others.” [Re: Assessed Thread: 22 March 2009, 04:15 PM] For considering the case as the population increases and CreditWorthy receives more clients, the likelihood of this error occurring again will also increase as well This argument is only an assumption and there are no clear statistics that this is true In fact, as the population increases, yes this means that CreditWorthy will most likely receive more customers; however as population increases, so will name variety And as name variety increases, the chances of running into the same name and birthday will even out the chances of the problem occurring.
  7. 7. Common Good Approach The common good approach suggests that when making a decision, one should first consider what is best for the community. By leaving the system alone, it will create less of a disruption for the majority of CreditWorthy’s customers and put less of a financial strain on CreditWorthy as a company. An argument to modify the system when taking the common good approach is that modifying the system hurts no one and the only change is improvement for the small group However, if you look at the scenario in a larger sense and not only concentrate on CreditWorthy’s customers, modifying the system can indeed put some risk and hurt several different people within the community For example, since modifying the system costs money, this might result in budget cuts or layoffs; which could then lead to employees losing their jobs Another example is that although one might think that modifying the database doesn’t affect the majority group, it can in fact cause them risk as well. While changing the database, it could potentially create problems for the majority group by being inconvenienced and experience some downtime during its transition. When taking the common good approach and thinking what is best for the community, the risk of potentially creating job losses for employees or more problems for the majority group during transition is far worse than having a small problem towards a very small group of people In fact, by having CreditWorthy save its money from leaving the database alone, this could open up opportunities for
  8. 8. projects that have more significance and also provide better employee job security So therefore, CreditWorthy should leave the database alone. Kantian Approach The Kantian approach looks at a decision being made based on the intention or the means as a justification for whatever result is reached. When looking at this problem from this point of view, one should remember to keep the intention of the action as the primary focus, rather than placing any importance on the outcome generated by these actions. One initial argument for this case using the Kantian approach is that the wronged individuals should be noticed and the actions taken should be to attempt to correct the wrong done to them, regardless of what else it may entail Although this may cause some harm to others, one interpretation of the Kantian approach would hold that changing the system to assist those wronged would be an attempt to create and hold to a principle/rule/system that would be equally universally binding to all human beings This principle/rule/system would be the CreditWorthy’s rating of a person’s credit being equally based for all people, with no individual having their credit rating based on unequal reasons (namely on chance of name and birthdates) At the same time, however, if we approached the solution of changing the system as the action in itself we would see that making a change for a few individuals would be going against the very concept of maintaining a universal
  9. 9. rule/system to apply to all human beings, giving the wronged individuals an unfair advantage. Another way to focus on the Kantian approach to this case is to interpret Kant’s imperative to mean that we need to work towards a system treating every individual as an end, rather than as a means to an end Under this interpretation we focus yet again on the universality of a rule for the individuals involved, but also make sure to place appropriate emphasis on impartiality As with the first interpretation of the Kantian approach, this leaves the option to view the case as a few individuals being treated differently This would mean that we should work towards treating them impartially and therefore correcting the system to guarantee they are all treated the same Yet again, however, if we look at the action of changing the system we see that it would be disadvantaging others for the betterment of the few individuals, a true partiality towards the wronged individuals. Deontological Approach The deontological approach is very closely tied to the Kantian approach, with a slightly greater focus on an inherent duty of an individual in their actions, rather than on the inherent rights of an individual. In general this duty is merely to preserve the inherent rights of individuals and therefore is the same approach as a Kantian approach, but it can be expanded further.
  10. 10. If we treat CreditWorthy as an entity in terms of actions performed then we can infer that it too has the same duties as individuals. Apart from the same right preservations discussed in a Kantian approach, we can also look at rights mentioned in a post by Michael Hochkeppel: “Looking at Article 29 of The Universal Declaration of Human Right we see it says ‘Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible’ This does not mean that Creditworthy inherently must have a ‘social responsibility to offer accurate information to support banks' transactions’…, but that they have a responsibility to whatever aspects of society form the community that support them in their personal development. Because there is a large section of people who do not have a problem with the system, they support Creditworthy more than the minor group and therefore should be the primary (possibly only) focus of responsibility of Creditworthy.” [Re: Structure of case (2 in week2): 30 March 2009, 05:54 AM] Rights Approach The rights approach considers the protection and respect of the inherent moral rights of people to be the only true factor in determining the morality of an action, though the question of which rights a person inherently has is widely
  11. 11. debated. Depending on the exact rights a person is deemed to have, this approach may be an argument in favor or against changing CreditWorthy’s system. The initial claim of many is that the individuals having their credit score modified due to chance are having their rights impeded upon, and therefore the system must be changed to resolve this problem. The root of some of those who make this argument lies in The Universal Declaration of Human Right claim that “everyone has the right [to]… housing.” However, as was pointed out in a post by Eoghan Fitzgibbon: “Would renting not be classified as the right to housing, no where in the universal declaration of human rights does it state that everyone has the right to a mortgage As I mentioned in an earlier post getting loans is in no way a right.” [Re: Structure of case (2 in week2): 31 March 2009, 10:39 AM] “The right to financial privacy is not what I would call a central right such as the right to life or right to an education.” [Re: Assessed Thread: 19 March 2009, 08:30 PM] Apart from determining the rights of the specific wronged individuals another element to this approach is to look at the rights of all other individuals involved in the system It is assumed that in order to change the CreditWorthy system the system would have to be disabled or at least slowed for a period of time, no matter how small During this time there would likely be other individuals attempting to receive credit reports who may also be in need of a quick mortgage
  12. 12. approval in order to claim a house, just as with the house of McAdam If the database change took much time, the number of individuals who suffer in this way may even be significantly larger than those suffering under the current system, but regardless of this number the rights of some individuals would be being sacrificed to restore the rights of other individuals As Eoghan said in one post: “Serious downtime of the database could [could] lead to hundreds if not thousands of people being delayed in the process of getting a mortgage, they too could lose out on the homes they wish to purchase” [A Side Thought: 31 March 2009, 10:51 AM] Under a rights approach all rights must be treated with respect, so no individual’s rights may be sacrificed for the betterment of another’s. Yet another element of a rights approach to this case is to look at the controversial concept of rights of non-human entities Although this discussion usually has a greater emphasis on animals, it also applies to general entities such as CreditWorthy Under this analysis of the situation we must look at the rights of CreditWorthy to not only make its own decisions, but to attempt to be successful by not spending money on minor changes to its system This would mean that even ignoring the currently unaffected individuals, the system still cannot be changed because it would be infringing on the rights of CreditWorthy for the rights of the few individuals currently wronged.
  13. 13. Arguments for Changing the System Responsibility Angle First, it is irresponsible for both the clients and CreditWorthy to not update the system In the long run the defective system really is not good for the development of the company The basic responsibility of a company is to have goods or services for users This responsibility can help companies to have a good reputation, improve their competitive ability and keep long-term development As a credit-rating company, the standard service of Creditworthy is to supply perfectly accurate information to banks, which are able to influence both decisions of bank and borrowers’ lives However unfortunately, the current system of Creditworthy not only cannot provide this kind of service, but also has confused two clients’ information This confusion lead to the decision of the bank and then to the McAdams losing their dream house It was irresponsible to the clients because this mistake damaged the innocent couple both psychologically and financially Furthermore, the thing we have to watch out for is that similar things may happen again in the future if the system does not change It was irresponsible to itself because Creditworthy is a very famous credit-rating company with higher enterprise image within the industry The perfect credit status of Creditworthy comes from accumulation of outstanding job for many years This fatal defect can destroy this accumulation There is a famous sentence “Do not fail to do good even if it's small; do not engage in evil even if it's small” Most serious accidents come from
  14. 14. tiny things, so the company should pay attention to every tiny defective thing to make themselves into a sustainable development. Second, companies need social responsibility This means corporations should have responsibility to related people and organizations in commercial operations, while being influenced by these people and organizations Creditworthy cannot exist independently because it is social thing Survival and development of Creditworthy cannot be separated from society and related people and organizations In this case, both the couple and the bank are related entities to the credit-rating company Creditworthy was irresponsible to either the bank who was influenced to do a decision or the couple who was influenced against owning a house In the reverse manner, the two correlative entities were also irresponsible to Creditworthy As a bank, can it believe a credit-rating company with faulty system? Third, updating the system cannot affect only a small group people It can affect all the people who related with credit rate, affect development of credit-rating company and even affect social progress The new system has unique alphanumeric identifiers for each person, which would identify each person by unique identifiers, like ID card numbers Clients and staff are not worried about some customers having the same or similar personal information because they do not have potential mistakes like the couple in this case For the credit-rating company the advanced system can help it to reduce the numbers of fatal errors, improve work efficiency and quality, and make it stronger and stronger; and for the society this developed system or skill can make society steady and harmonious because of fewer conflicts.
  15. 15. Fourth, responsibility and duty should not be measured by figures Responsibility is to do things that should be done That is to complete the tasks and missions that should be done Sense of responsibility is one of the most important factors of measuring quality of a person or a company, which cannot be measured by accurate numbers. The targets of standard goods and services in some companies are numbers that cannot show responsibilities for clients and staff like 99.997% This sense of responsibility is in the spirit and comes from every person’s heart It is also supported and manifested by behaviors In our case, although the credit-rating company may not get 100% accurate product because of many kinds of reasons, its ideas and beliefs of responsibility should be 100% This means that it must pay more attention to every tiny problem and perfect it On the other hand, 0.003% bad products come from many subjective and objective factors The reason why these factors appear is possibly that people did not think about the whole thing completely, but it is human being’s nature and we are not God We cannot change it However, we can change our responsibility If we do not have 100% responsibility, the rate of bad products may be bigger. Rights Approach When it comes to the Rights Approach, it's much easier and more direct to support why the company should modify the hole, just according to the famous
  16. 16. saying “From this approach, the ethical action is the one that best protects and respects the moral rights of those affected.” Red Rose Bank, as the customer of Creditworthy, has the moral right to be told the truth. Also the case of McAdams shows the shortage of the system, and Creditworthy has the capability to modify the system. By leaving it aside, the right of bank will be encroached upon For Creditworthy, there is a conflict towards moral rights On the one hand, it has the right to make its own choice about how to react to the default of the system It can take its social responsibility to modify the system, or like Michael said, to take “a responsibility to whatever aspects of society from the community that support them in their personal development” (Re: Structure of case (2 in week2): 30 March 2009, 05:54 AM) On the other hand, it is often said that the moral rights imply duties-in particular Therefore, when applying its own rights, Creditworthy also has duty to respect bank’s rights of not being damaged As Tong said in one post, “The bank has the right to get the accurate data of their customers” (Re: Structure of case (2 in week2): 27 March 2009, 04:37 PM) If anyone is entitled to compensation it is the bank The bank in question pays Creditworthy a fee to obtain accurate data pertaining to their clients On this occasion Creditworthy has not done this so they should be penalized in some way by the bank. The McAdams, as other customers of banks, have the right not to be injured and the right to have accurate personal data, however, such rights and the right of living a better life have been injured because of the mistake of Creditworthy.
  17. 17. In our case the couple had their own interests, both financially and spiritually Financially, they lose the new house that they wanted Someone may argue that they got the compensation from the mistake, but money is limited to but the value of the house, the real property is unlimited The rights or interest of the couple was deprived by the defective system Spiritually, the couple suffered a big moral blow Nobody knows when the couple gains relief from this event, and the most important thing is that they may suffer another similar wrong if the system does not change because the same names and birthdays still exist. For the credit-rating company, Creditworthy also has interests that belong to individual and society This mistake of Creditworthy brought loss on both money and reputation The company had to pay the couple the compensation Maybe money is not the most important, but Creditworthy lost its reputation that came from accumulation of outstanding job performance for many years On the other hand, the mistake of Creditworthy did not only affect itself but also affected its related organizations, in this case Red Rose Bank The bank was unable to offer the mortgage to the couple according to the wrong report of the crediting-rating company The decision of the bank also influenced the couple’s interests and rights even thought it was not its own mistake Some people may argue that updating system will spend more money This is true because cash flow is the important part for a credit-rating company and can guarantee the funds and security of production and operation As we known, it can come from the clients who decide to file for credit, however, the system with hidden
  18. 18. dangers may make Red Rose Bank reconsider if it will cooperate with Creditworthy If Red Rose Bank wants to change credit-rating companies, Creditworthy will lose more If Creditworthy has an updated system, the errors, like the couple in our case, can decrease and credit status and reputation can increase, which can bring more customers and cash flow This can guarantee a healthy and steady development of the company. Of course, people should consider all kinds of things that can affect the result However, as a company, the leaders must think about that how to consider and fix up all the factors and make them have maximum and long-time benefits for the company As was stated before, Creditworthy is a credit-rating company and its function is to provide perfectly accurate information to customers So the focal point of CreditWorthy’s consideration should be how close to an error-free job they can get According to our case, updating the system seems the only way that they can do that It can decrease the errors to a minimum and prevent the appearance of the fatal mistake that is like our case Only in this way can it deal with this problem. The current way the system is running right now creates a problem for a small group of people. The question being asked in the scenario is when should it be okay to change the system? The line should be drawn once the error in the system is detected. By doing this, it will prevent having to wait until people’s rights are being impinged upon by the error. According to Arthur Mencke’s post: quot;How can redesigning one's entire system for a handful of people be considered the way to treat everyone the same?quot;
  19. 19. [Re: Utilitarian Approach: 24 March 2009, 03:58 PM] At what moment are people being treated the same way? The McAdams would highly disagree with statement above. If the system is fixed, will everyone be receiving the same level of treatment from Creditworthy? Yes. While the system is under construction, who will be unable to use the system due to downtime, etc.? Everyone - hence they are being treated equally. When trying to understand a scenario and deciding what the best ethical judgment is, it is important to understand the different stakeholders In the McAdam’s scenario, the three different stakeholders would be CreditWorthy, the majority group of CreditWorthy’s customers who aren’t affected by the error, and the small group who are affected by the database error. Since those who are being affected by the database error are so small, it is understandable for one to argue that since the problem is too small to matter, the system should be left alone. However, when is it valid to say that the problem is “too” small or “too” big? Who is the one to make that authorized decision for when a problem is “big” enough to change? Regardless of when it affects 1 or 1000 people, the size of the group whom are affected by the error should not matter. After one person loses out due to an inept system from a company that has failed in its civil duty to provide accurate information it should be enough to make the change. Corporate Social Responsibility Angle
  20. 20. CreditWorthy is responsible for providing their customers accurate and reliable credit ratings. The credit-rating company should guarantee their customer’s identity in order to provide them with accurate ratings. Providing incorrect information constitutes an extreme case of negligence and this is what caused the McAdams to lose their chance on purchasing their house. Arthur Mencke describes below the responsibility that CreditWorthy should uphold. “Applying virtue ethics to this case would lead to the conclusion that the just thing to do would be to update the system - this way everyone would be treated justly - a must for a company with such power and responsibility over peoples lives Even applying a deontological approach does not rule out changing the system, the process of changing it does not seem to be a large sacrifice in this case - in fact, 99% of customers of Creditworthy probably would not even notice the system downtime, even if it took a month only a fraction of the customers would be looking for credit ratings in this timeframe.” [Re: Assessed Thread: 20 March 2009, 01:40 PM] Utilitarian Approach Reviewing the case of House of McAdam, it's obvious that the McAdams lost their home because of a coincidence. And still obviously, however little the
  21. 21. probability of coincidence is, the loss comes out of the system's hole in Creditworthy. Facing up to this situation there are two choices for the same company: to fill up the hole or just leave it alone Nevertheless, observing from a different approach the company may draw reversed conclusions and adopt different measures Given that the chance of getting names mistaken is quite small with the quantity of victims also minor, whether to modify the hole seems like a moral or justice problem rather than an economic one People easily believe from a utilitarian approach there may be less importance attached to the modification of system, however, firm conclusions can be drawn that from just a utilitarian consideration the company should revise its system. Creditworthy, as a credit-rating company, belongs to the service industry which furnishes reliable information of house leaseholders to the bank That makes both the bank and the leaseholder the customers of the Creditworthy Good credit and high quality of service is of paramount importance for the future of this kind of company Its development is based on public praise rather than other factors The case of House of McAdam revealed the hole of the credit-rating system, from which customers suffered severe loss—the bank got the wrong person and the McAdams lost the house! In this case if Creditworthy leaves it alone and takes no measures, just because of the spreading of this news Creditworthy will soon lose the confidence of its customers and there will be damage to its reputation, which will potentially result in customer loss On the contrary, if Creditworthy can use
  22. 22. alphanumeric identifiers to modify the system, it appears uneconomic in the business world Yes, owing to the great cost, temporarily it will be uneconomic, but the company can also take advantage of this action to not only reestablish the customer's faith in it, but also advertise itself, so as to attract more customers In business, more customers equal more profits No doubt there's small possibility if two persons share the same name and other personal information Maybe the probability is only one out of one million However, because an individual person doesn't have the opportunity to enter the information system none of them can check whether he or she is the unfortunate one Just for this reason every customer will prefer to choose one company that can exclude this type of risk Creditworthy has the chance to be this very one and seize customers from other companies in this process It can also become the role model in credit-rating companies who can offers better services and guarantees to protect customers much more securely By this argument, Creditworthy needs to update the system In the long run, if the company aims to accomplish great things and get continuous profits, it is an ironclad rule that it must make up all drawbacks and perfect every detail of the system The case of House of McAdam was small, but not stand alone When more data goes to the database, the chance of this incident occurring is becoming higher and higher in the coming years That means more and more customers may suffer by a variety of risk There is potential loss that Creditworthy has to compensate customers for their damage due to these risks, and
  23. 23. this should be avoided as early as possible through maintaining the system always perfected The only way ubiquitous for good is to modify the system---spend money one time, and NEVER bother with it again From the perspective of the long-term profits, Creditworthy also should change the system. Some people suspect the conclusion as per the cost-benefit analysis They hold that the cost is too high for changing a minor detail in the system, which only benefits lightly, so letting it be is the wiser choice Admitting the quot;CBAquot; is a good way to analyze such issues, however, the content of the analysis is not appropriate and logical as they still neglect the importance of credit and accuracy of information for Creditworthy In other words, they abbreviate the cost of leaving the hole alone Let's just come into details For a credit-rating company, the development and profits rely on two factors: cash flow and credit status These two factors are closely connected and influenced Creditworthy offers credit information of customers to the bank (to be more specific, they furnish credit to the bank) and the bank pays commission for the information This nature of business requires the information system to be precise and rigid and calls for every such trade processing smoothly, because if some misrepresentation results in a default, Creditworthy should be responsible for the loss, which may dilute the cash flow and deteriorate the financial condition of the company It's a very severe problem Therefore, modifying the system is important for the profits of the company Even though the chances of these incidents are small, every incident like the House of McAdam can affect the credit status of the company, and thusly influence its financial consistence
  24. 24. and development Worse still, they pay no attention to the benefits listed above That makes the conduction of their judge much too simplistic. Other arguments that have been mentioned to leave the system alone have been based on whether the decision will have a financial gain or loss. However, a system should not be allowed to continue to operate and make a profit while providing what is an inadequate service. Arthur Mencke’s post below states: “I would have to disagree with you here Michael; in so much that I believe a utilitarian approach to this problem, as with many other problems is totally inadequate Assuming that changing the system would reduce the level of service Creditworthy can provide to the majority of its customers - yes utilitarianism would say no - don’t change a thing But is it really your opinion that a handful of people should have life changing decisions made for them simply to avoid inconveniencing people who may never even notice the system is down at all? Should even one person have to suffer because of the short fallings of this company - a company supposedly providing them with a valuable service? I don't think so.” [Re: Utilitarian Approach: 18 March 2009, 03:07 PM] By taking a utilitarian approach, here are some reasons for why CreditWorthy should change their system First of all, if CreditWorthy continues to give out incorrect information to banks about clients, the banks will grant clients a mortgage based on the incorrect credit rating For example, for a client who has a bad credit rating, but CreditWorthy sends back a great credit rating for them to the
  25. 25. bank, the bank will approve them for a loan However, since the clients are not known to be responsible for making payments, the loan can turn toxic and cannot pay back the loan This might even go to the great lengths of having the bank asking the government for bailouts due to toxic debts Therefore, even from the utilitarian approach, it is more beneficial to revise the system than to leave it alone.
  26. 26. Conclusions This case can be approached from a number of different ethical approaches, as was done in both the discussion and this paper With all approaches considered, some found the ethical decision can only be to change the system, however, this argument is largely down to opinion For example, if one applies the rights approach, the conclusion that the system does not protect and respect the moral rights of those affected could be reached However, another opinion could be that changing the system would not protect and respect the moral rights of those currently not affected. Regardless of this, some feel that if the system were changed, the moral rights of EVERYONE would be fulfilled. They also feel that from a fairness and justice approach, the system will only truly be fair when everyone receives the same level of service. Others attempted to make their conclusions less focused on how the system should be and more on the actions that took place during the case, such as Eoghan who posted: “Ethically I maintain my view that under any viewpoint Pam did act correctly and providing the upper management followed proper procedure in their cost assessment so did they.” [Re: Rights Approach--Interest (2nd post in week 3): 3 April 2009, 02:58 PM]
  27. 27. This problem is not a black and white one. However, if an ethical approach is taken with an emphasis on the rights of each person along with fair treatment, the right thing to do would be to change the system The alternative solution for this case study is to leave the system alone Following the utilitarian approach, considering what’s best for the overall group outweighs the consideration to improve the small database problem CreditWorthy’s cost-benefit analysis plays a significant role into making this decision when following the utilitarian approach Three main stakeholders to consider here are CreditWorthy, the majority group who aren’t affected by the error, and the small group who are affected by the error Since the analyst concluded that the problem wouldn’t clearly show CreditWorthy to have any sort of financial gain over fixing this problem and the fact that this error is very small; the best decision is to leave the system alone. The database problem from the case study does not prevent those affected by the error to purchase a house completely The only inconvenience it will create is to bring some delay to those who are affected by this error A strong key point to keep in mind here is that the percentage of people who are affected by this error is very small So why put financial strain on the whole company and potentially create more problems when in the end, this database problem only affects a small percentage of CreditWorthy’s customers and does not completely ruin their chances from purchasing a house?
  28. 28. According to the common good approach, we should do what is best for the community This ethical approach falls in line with the utilitarian approach by wanting to do what’s best for the community The community usually consists of the majority of those who live there Since CreditWorthy’s majority of customers are not inconvenienced, why bring more problems? By leaving the system alone, it can create more financial opportunities for Creditworthy to work on projects that have more significance and possibly provide more job security for CreditWorthy’s employees. Leaving the system alone would be the best choice when considering the overall group and the community.
  29. 29. Report Contributions Estelle Kim – Editing and Compilation, Case Study Overview, Possible Solutions, Conclusions, Arguments for Leaving the System Alone: Utilitarian Approach [Main Contributor], Common Good Approach [Main Contributor] Michael Hochkeppel – Editing and Compilation, Conclusions, Arguments for Leaving the System Alone: Kantian Approach [Main Contributor], Deontological Approach [Main Contributor], Rights Approach [Main Contributor] Arthur Mencke – Conclusions, Arguments for Changing the System: Utilitarian Approach, Rights Approach, Corporate Social Responsibility Angle [Main Contributor] Eoghan Fitzgibbon – Conclusions, Arguments for Leaving the System Alone: Utilitarian Approach, Rights Approach. Arguments for Changing the System: Rights Approach Tong Xu – Arguments for Changing the System: Utilitarian Approach [Main Contributor], Rights Approach [Co-main Contributor] Ye Meng – Arguments for Changing the System: Responsibility Angle [Main Contributor], Rights Approach [Co-main Contributor]