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The Insider (Whistleblower) October 17, 2009

Posted by Null in Business, Ethics, Movies.
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The Insider (1999) is a true story based on an Ex-tobacco executive who planned to whistle blow against his company Brown & Williamson. However, going against a tobacco manufacturer is not that easy. There are political pressures, ups and downs, life threats and off course legal concerns.

The film illustrates how tobacco manufacturers are exploiting the consumers by not letting them know what happens next after smoking. In this case an ethically driven generous executive, who belongs to the scientific know how of tobacco manufacturing has planned to raise his voice. He took help from a veteran CBS news reporter to help him file a lawsuit against his ex-employer. Nevertheless, whistle blowing is not that plain and simple especially if the employer is a giant tobacco manufacturer.

The movie also explores ethical issues that underlies within the tobacco industry in general. There are certain laws pertaining to the degrees of murder. Some critics might even believe that this is a planned assassination by the tobacco manufacturers. Anyway the arguments are left to the jurisdiction. Has anything sturdy been done till now to combat against smoking? However, we are aware of the numerous international litigation made against many tobacco companies, but these companies have always survived the great legal campaigns.

Obviously, questions may arise regarding the validity of the statements made by the tobacco executive in 60 minutes. Therefore, if we just look into an organizational perspective, what choices are left with the company? Would you want to feed a Frankenstein who wants to kill you?

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Economic Darwinism at its worst October 17, 2009

Posted by Null in Ethics, Expression, Movies.
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Darwin’s Nightmare (2004) directed by Hubert Sauper, is the Oscar nominated documentary film which portrays the economic Darwinism in Tanzania and the other countries associated with the Lake Victoria. The film explains how the economically advantaged big fishes of the world are exploiting the underprivileged tiny fishes of Africa.

We are aware of barter systems where people used to exchange goods and services for other goods and services. In fact many nations still have barter exchanges. Such examples include Saudi Arabia/UAE exchanging food in return for oil and cash from Australia/US. But question always lie with the gains from trade. In most cases, it is not a win win situation in international business and trade. When we get greedy for business and trade, we ignore many other issues like the ecology, the business ethics, and the poverty. Rather we focus on exploitation, creating tension and enforced dumping.

The film depicts an in depth analysis of an extensive research (although it may look controversial and offensive to some groups). It gives a vivid description of the case of Lake Victoria of Tanzania and the inhabitants nearby the lake. A new breed of fish, which looked commercially successful, has eventually transformed some of the African economies into a bloody economic and politcal war. See it for yourself and find out what has changed the life in that region.

When do we expect a racism free Australia? May 31, 2009

Posted by Null in Australia, Ethics, News.
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It’s too un-Australian to bash Indian students just because they don’t have the color or because they can’t speak in an Australian accent. Very recently, I was going through newspaper articles about some of the incidents that happened with international students..which shocked me. I am also shocked that the authorities are silent with this issue. The international students come to this country, they study, pay their tuition fees, pay taxes, and eventually gets a knock from the local Samoan thugs. I am not outrageous about general Australians but we do face many social realities as new citizens or migrants which we never spoke about even though some of those realities are worth mentioning to others. Last month I went to Amsterdam and a local guy asked me whether Australians are too racist or not because they read and hear lots of incidental stories. I really felt a shame that time.

We choose this country because we love this country, it’s weather, liberal lifestyle and multiculturalism. What I believe is Australia is a land of beauty where all citizens regardless of race, color & ethnicity should live with harmony. We should learn how to be tolerant to  cultural diversity.

These days, things have changed.  Australia is now no longer a nation like it was when there was a “White Australia Policy“. In those days, the country’s legitimate owners (Aborigines) were being deprived of their rights other than some benefits.  Then there was the infamous Pauline Hanson and some others. Pauline is neither the immigration minister nor she has the right to speak racist comments since her ancestors were migrants. Lucky Pauline, she was not raised in a different country; otherwise who would have led this low minded and prejudiced one nation party!

I reckon these racial tensions have escalated just because of two reasons. 1) There are some people like the racist and fraud Pauline Hanson who tries to influence the general population; 2) The government or the state is unaware how to handle a multicultural society (try learning from US or UK).

From my little knowledge about the history of Australia, the country can no longer be labeled as a racist country since racism exist more or less everywhere on earth. But the silence from the government authorities in mob attacks represents a lenient approach to diversity. Bruce Haigh’s article can provide more insights about the Rudd government’s governing methodology. If the authorities and the law enforcement bodies do not take necessary actions or steps to eradicate these tensions, it will escalate to a serious peak which may lead towards a low profile Australian image to the world. Tourism, trade realtions, people perception and off course revenue earnings from higher education will be in jeopardy.

Child Labor & Sweatshops in Bangladesh March 26, 2009

Posted by Null in Bangladesh, Ethics, HRM.
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Much has been told about the “Child Labor” and “Sweatshop” issues in newspapers and as well as by human rights activists.  But do we really care? I’m afraid, not. We give a damn about these children who work day and nights. We feel pity if a worker is sweating to produce a Nike T-Shirt for us.

The obvious question may come, Why should we care? Aren’t we paying $60 for that shirt? We are being responsible by purchasing the T-Shirt at a higher price. But who gets the money? It’s time now that we as consumers’ be aware about general human rights that every human being on earth deserves. By the way,  I’m not a feminist or a leftist.  All I’m trying is to aware ourselves that something definite can be done to improve the lives of some poor people who work for our daily commodities.

Injustice revisited:The Innocent Man by John Grisham August 2, 2007

Posted by Null in Books, Ethics.
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I have finished reading John Grisham’s recent work on a non-fiction novel named “The Innocent Man“. I expected the story to be a psychological crime thriller but I was wrong. The story has nothing to do with a typical fictional thriller. It is based on the real life experiences of some people of Ada, a small town of Oklahoma state.

The Innocent Man

The story is quite bizzare that even in these days, innocent people can be framed by bad police work, snitches and loopholes of law. The story is mostly about Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz who seemed to be innocent but were framed by the police of Ada and by the prosecutor Bill Peterson. These two individuals had been wrongfully convicted for the murder of Debbie Carter. The story also highlights another similar story of Ward and Fontenot who were also being framed and sent to the death row (“The Dreams of Ada” is the book about Ward and Fontenot by Robert Mayer). Since I was unaware that death penalty still exist in United States, I was quite surprised by these two cases. The book is worth reading if you still believe that the justice system protects the rights of the innocent. It will tour you the extreme state of affairs that any individual can undergo. Thanks to John for his non-fiction work and revisiting injustice.

Piracy in the blogsphere July 13, 2007

Posted by Null in About Blogs, Ethics.
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There are thousands of bloggers who copy ones ideas and put them back to their blogs, which is quite similar to the paraphrasing we used to do in our academic life. Some might care to link back your ideas, and there are some who gives a sh*t about your intellectual ideas. The problem is that your innovative and creative journal entry goes global even without a simple acknowledgement. The result is mistrust in the blogsphere and is unethical too. Nobody knows who really initiated this innovative idea or discussion. 

A good blogger knows what it feels like when their writings are being copied and not acknowledged. I still don’t know whether any ethical guidelines exist or not but what I felt about writing blog journals is that some DOs and DONTs should exist in the blogsphere. Probably a code of ethics or something.  Although most bloggers do care about acknowledging the genuine authors, but there are rotten tomatoes in every basket. However, mere guidelines are not the solutions to the ethical dilemma of the blogsphere. It is upto the people in the blogsphere whether they care about it or not. If they don’t care about it, the general acceptance of these so called freelance journals will perish very soon.

Nigerian scam and General Abacha June 13, 2007

Posted by Null in Ethics, Technology.
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Most of us who have an email address has confronted with at least one Nigerian scam (419 scam or Advanced fee fraud) letter in their life. When I was a rookie internet user, I used to get plenty of scams which were mostly from a Nigerian oil tycoon, or a retired general or a diamond businessman. These emails would come in the form of a tragic story where a millionaire/oil tycoon/general died and his wife wants to get out of Nigeria and she will share the money if we agree. If we agree, there awaits a great f#@k for us and for our bank accounts. The process is quite lengthy and detailed but once you are a potential victim, these suckers will somehow get your money. Generally, these suckers gets our email addresses from the internet mailing lists. To target a newbie on the internet, the Nigerian story is quite a fascinating theory to suck money.

I wonder why Nigeria was choosen for a scam. Recently I did a search on Google with “Abacha” where most of the results relate with the Nigerian money stealing scandal done by General Sani Abacha. So it is pretty clear that the suckers who scams millions of internet users with a promise to transfer millions of dollars have identified a great story to develop this scam. General Abacha or Maryam Abacha are the widely used names for these sort of scam letters. However, these 419 letters have reduced during the last couple of years probably because nobody’s buying these stories. But it’s better to be aware about them and educate new internet users about the traditional theories of internet scamming. If you haven’t read any of these Nigerian stories yet, you would find interesting to read some typical scam scenerios posted on popsubculture. There is also an interesting discussion board dedicated to the versatility of these amazing stories.

Thougths on diversity and Affirmative Action Programs June 3, 2007

Posted by Null in Ethics, HRM.
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The cultural diversity programs or Affirmative Action programs gives us an impression that awareness for the diversity issues can be twofold in many cases. First of all, the purpose of an Affirmative Action is to ensure that disadvantaged groups such as women and ethnic minorities are not excluded from the recruitment and retention of an organisation. Hence the Affirmative Action can help resolve the issues regarding discrimination and workforce diversity. Many might argue that having such an extensive program will not only comply with the workforce laws but also can enhance organisational effectiveness and bring harmony. But on the other hand, too much emphasis on Affirmative Action can victimise other insiders who might feel that they are excluded from the benefits that are provided to the disadvantaged groups, which eventually, can create a new form of discrimination.

Embracing multicultural diversity is indeed a challenging task for an organisation because it can raise multidimensional dilemmas, which eventually can affect the long term goals of an organisation. To embrace diversity, training and awareness should be created among everyone inside the organisation so that issues regarding diversity do not raise questions. In addition, organisations should also be careful that Affirmative Action programs does not put others at disadvantage.

Attitudes towards software piracy June 1, 2007

Posted by Null in Academic, Ethics.
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Pirate the high rate! This has been the common tendency of the software pirates for a decade. Unauthorised copying, illegal resale, & multiple reuses of software products are common nowadays. Software piracy has become a severe issue in the software industry especially due to the escalating trends in unauthorized copying of software products within business environments and educational institutes all over the globe. As a result, these activities are jeopardizing billions of dollar revenues of the global software industry. The piracy act will not stop until the attitudes changes, and the attitudes will not change unless the actions are taken. Thus adequate measures should be taken to combat the attitudes of students and as well as the software piracy in general.

The above argument reflects the abstract of my study which was completed in an effort to understand the attitudes of students towards software piracy.

Corporate blogging and ethics April 22, 2007

Posted by Null in About Blogs, Ethics.
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As far as communications are concerned, trust and ethics are always core issues in managing social media. Similar to other social media, blogging is also difficult to control since there are no cyber patrol for controlling the thugs of social media. However, unethical practices are less likely to be found in blogs compared to other social media like E-mail. But there are no universal standard guidelines for blogs. Most bloggers outline or highlight the blogging policies on their blogs.

Organisational blogs such as IBM, DELL, Yahoo, Boeing and Marriot International have outlined the blogging policy and guidelines on their blogs. These guidelines tells us the various legal, ethical, copyright and privacy issues that may be relevant with the blogs.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EEF) has an interesting set of general guidelines for bloggers who might be wary about the legal and ethical issues concerning blogs. A look into those guidelines will give a clear idea about the Do’s and Dont’s of blogs.

Another way of securing blog articles is by the use of Creative Commons License where you can not only copyright your ideas but also share by letting others copy your ideas. If you want to buy a seal, CopyrightDeposit can provide you with a copyright declaration seal through a one time payment.

In general, most bloggers seemed to have high ethical standards as because they too contribute to the knowledge of the blogosphere. But it is worthwhile to understand what could have happened if the bloggers were not aware about the intellectual property rights. Due to the blogging boom, I think it is not far when we will have to have a genuine security measure to claim our intellectual property in future. I just wonder what happens next when corporate giants like Google does not care about their client’s privacy. Watch this video.