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Ethics

By Steve Jones,

Today we have an editorial reprinted from April 3, 2006 as Steve is on vacation.


We have heard lots of stories about hackers using social engineering or even paying employees to get information. It is not really amazing anymore and sadly, we kind of expect people to compromise their ethics when dollars are involved.

What is even sadder is our leaders, the management of companies we work for, who are supposed to set an example for work, build pride in the company, and help it to grow, are expected to throw ethics out the window on a regular basis. This story about Morgan Stanley executives pressuring IT to buy certain products in order to get those vendors to bring their banking business is nothing new. In fact most of the IT people I've worked with are surprised when it isn't some political decision such as this that decides which products they will use.

I know that people often scratch each other's backs. After all, each of us on a small scale usually wants to work with someone we know, trade favors, and show some loyalty to each other.

But when you put out a bid, it gets frustrating for the people that work hard to find out what they think is best for the company, or the best solution for a problem and have that circumvented because someone got to go play golf or had tickets to a sporting event given to them.

Or worse, the promise of a job or other financial compensation for steering business rather than awarding it. There are penalties for accepting gifts of this sort, and the article has some advice on avoiding issues if you are worried.

I don't pretend to have a solution. Nor do I think I would be immune to this. Andy, Brian, and I have spent 5 years trying to build a community we're proud of, often putting the profit second or third on the list to having a place we are proud of running.

I just wish it could be different.

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