Worth 30%. Assesses Learning Outcome 1, 2 & 3
- Apply critical and analytical skills required to undertake academic and applied management research in an organised way 2. Evaluate a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods 3. Identify and evaluate ethical issues in management research
Assignment 2 has two parts: • Part A: Write a report on ONE of the research scenarios described below, analysing the ethical issues in the scenario and outlining what actions you would take to minimize, eliminate or manage each issue. Base your analysis on the ethical principles in the conduct of research you have been given in class, together with other source references. You will need to make reasoned inferences from the information given in the selected scenario. (1500-2000 words; 20%)
• Part B: Produce an infographic or other form of data visualization based on Part A of assessment 2 (10%)
- A cover page and integrity declaration 2. A Table of Contents 3. A reference list in APA format of all sources cited (minimum 6 references) in your assignment.
Due in via Turnitin by 8am on Monday 16 September (note the date change).
Part A is to be 1.5 or double spaced with 12 point font.
Page 2 of 4
You are the newly appointed Chief Information Officer (CIO) for an IT consulting business employing 45,000 employees globally, with 370 in New Zealand. Your shareholders include the New Zealand Super Fund and two New Zealand iwi. These, and other significant investors, have made public statements as to their expectations for sustainable and ethical business practices by the companies they invest in. The company conducts a twice-yearly employee engagement survey which measures employee job satisfaction, perceptions of organisational culture, trust in management, intentions to stay or leave the firm, and self-reported health and well-being, including stress. The survey is conducted online and historically has been managed by an independent company which collected, analysed and reported on the findings of the survey to the company Board and Senior Management Team (SMT). These findings were provided at an aggregated level of the firm as a totality, global regions, countries, and any business units within those regions / countries employing more than 100 employees. No further breakdowns of the findings were available as the research consultancy stated this was necessary to protect employee anonymity. All employees were provided with an abridged summary of the engagement survey findings via the company intranet. The costs charged by the independent research firm have increased significantly over the years. Over time, response rates to the survey have also been declining to the point where fewer than 60% of employees now participate. Anecdotally, this decline is due to employees having concerns that nothing ever changed as a result of the survey findings. Stress levels, for example, have been increasing year-on for five years now. The SMT has decided that in future the engagement survey will now be done every three months and that data collection, analysis and reporting will be done inhouse by you and your team. Participation in the survey will be compulsory – employees will not be able to opt out and failure to participate will be treated as misconduct potentially subject to disciplinary action. The SMT also wants you to develop a data dashboard so that all managers will be able to drill down to their own teams or business units for their results. This will also enable senior managers to benchmark these tier-3 and 4 managers, and their team leaders, on their employee engagement levels. The SMT sees this as the gateway to identifying where changes need to be made to get improvements. The SMT is undecided whether employees will continue to be provided with the results as some feel the findings might be leaked to competitors and clients. As the CIO, you have some serious concerns as to the ethics of what you are being asked to do. You have decided to present the SMT with a report of your analysis of the ethical issues arising from the planned changes, and how they should be managed, together with a summary infographic or other form of data visualization suitable for the Board.
Page 3 of 4
MegaMoney is a multidivisional financial services firm. It is privately owned through a partnership structure and operates in New Zealand with 154 staff. The company provides mortgage and insurance brokerage, foreign exchange and money transfer services, bullion exchange, and share brokerage services, as well as managing bloodstock and property investment options for its clients. The company operates with a very traditional hierarchical culture and a high degree of formality (e.g., employees wear suits and the use of first names discouraged when talking to superiors). High standards of professionalism are always also expected from staff, who are also very well remunerated by industry standards.
Given the nature of its business, the company is also very focused on security. Surveillance of staff is endemic and appears either accepted or ignored. For example, CCTV operates throughout the office premises, keystroke logging is standard practice (it is managed by an independent 3rd party company that specialises in this kind of monitoring), all internet traffic and app usage on company computers is monitored in real time, only company provided smart phones are able to be used on the premises and for work purposes (these are also actively monitored), and access to most parts of the building, including the toilets and kitchen areas, requires the use of thumbprint scans. A new policy has been issued that now requires all employees to keep their work phones turned on and with them 24/7 – in effect employees are now available on-call. What many staff are unaware of is that this also effectively means their employers know exactly where they are at any time, as well as having potential access to other devices the phones are connected to through the Internet of Things (IOT).
The amount of data collected on each employee is phenomenal. Most staff are unaware it is collected and those that might know don’t seem to care. Its collection is unobtrusive. And historically the data has only been used when an investigation has been conducted because of suspected fraud or inappropriate employee behaviour. Even then it was a laborious process because all the data are stored in different databases using different software platforms. However, recent developments in machine learning and predictive analytics is about to change all that.
You are the leader of a small team of academic researchers specialising in artificial intelligence (AI) and “surveillance capitalism”. In return for access to the firm for research purposes, your team has been asked to train an AI to be able to accurately predict and identify which staff are likely to engage in fraudulent or illegal or unprofessional behaviour with 99.9% accuracy. You are confident with enough data the AI will be able to achieve this level of predictive accuracy. But first you must write an ethics report for your institution based on the seven principles for the ethical conduct of research. You have also been asked to provide the owners of MegaMoney with an infographic, or some other form of data visualization, of the main points in your ethics report.
Page 4 of 4
The grade awarded for Assignment 2 will depend upon:
• The completeness and structure of your assignment • Clarity of expression, including English grammar and sentence structure • The relevance of the source materials you cite to support your analysis and proposed actions.
• Correct use of APA citation and referencing • The choice of data visualization you make and its visual impact
Grade Schedule (applied to both assessment results and course grades)
Achievement Description Grade
Learning outcomes met. Proficient in the most difficult concepts, theories and skills. Is able to integrate concepts, theories and skills, and recognise the links and relationships between them. Is able to adapt and apply concepts, theories and skills to new situations, and to formulate and evaluate new ideas.
A+ 9 90–100
A 8 80–89
Learning outcomes met. Is able to use and apply the fundamental theories, concepts and skills of the learning outcomes to a wide range of problems, going beyond mere replication of content knowledge or skill. Shows an understanding of key ideas, awareness of their relevance, some use of analytical skills and some originality.
B+ 6 75–79
B 5 65–74
Learning outcomes met. Has a basic grasp of factual content, theories, concepts and issues, and/or performance of basic skills to a level that would allow continuation of study in the area or to carry out work requiring these skills.
C+ 3 60–64
C 2 50–59