“Model” employee outsources his software job to China

Description: Bob was his company’s best software developer, got glowing performance reviews and earned more than $250,000 a year.

Source: www.theglobeandmail.com

Date: Jan 17, 2013

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Bob was paying a Chinese firm about $50,000 a year to do his work, then spent the day surfing the web, watching cat videos and updating his Facebook page.

“This particular case was pretty unique,” computer security investigator Andrew Valentine, who helped uncover Bob’s scheme, said in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail. “We thought it was actually pretty clever.”

Mr. Valentine made Bob’s tale public in a blog post on Monday and it has since been the talk of tech websites.    Read Rest of Story 

 Questions for discussion:

1. Is there an ethical dilemma in what Bob was doing at his place of work?  Why or Why Not??

2.  What benefits can you see with outsourcing as a company?

3.  What pitfalls can you see a company risking by outsourcing?

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29 thoughts on ““Model” employee outsources his software job to China

  1. Dakota Manson

    1. Is there an ethical dilemma in what Bob was doing at his place of work? Why or Why Not?

    In this instance an ethical dilemma does exist. Bob was taking credit for work that was being done elsewhere. I have to agree, his scheme was quite clever. I mean his ROI was $200,000 a year and in addition to that, he was seen as the best in his company for basically wasting his time at work. By outsourcing his work to China, Bob left his employers internal systems compromised. There is a huge conflict of interest. This is a private and I would image small company. However, the company’s competitors could have purchased the business intelligence from the company in China without management having a clue.

    2. What benefits can you see with outsourcing as a company?
    Management could have outsourced this work for $50, 000 a year as opposed to $250,000 a year, thus saving $200,000. The quality of work was obviously better than the work of the current employees since Bob was seen as the best Developer. In addition to the financial benefits, the companies systems could benefit since China does happen to be known as quite Tech savvy.

    .3. What pitfalls can you see a company risking by outsourcing?

    One of the obvious pitfalls of outsourcing work is that security could potentially be comprised. However, with an actual contact in place between the U.S Company and the Company in China, a more professional business relationship does exist, which could decrease the chances of competitors getting ahold of the U.S companies vulnerabilities within their internal systems.

    Reply
  2. Taylor Lapierre-Campbell

    I agree that there are several ethical issues in Bob’s actions. Although his outsourcing did not immediately hurt the company Bob went behind his supervisor to do so. Another issue is that when his supervisor suspected something about his work, Bob continued to hide his actions. This secrecy eventually pushed the company to have to pay a specialist to inspect Bob. If Bob had voluntarily explained his actions he may not have been treated so harshly. For example, instead of being fired with negative charged he would have just left. Overall Bob’s actions could have been more professional.
    Outsourcing could be a positive step for this company without the middle man. They mentioned that while they didn’t know about his outsourcing Bob’s work was the top ranked in their company. The lower cost could help the company without jeopardizing quality. However, if they do outsource certain contracts would need to be set in order to avoid any possible threats such as stolen information.

    Reply
  3. Kendra Bloomberg

    For the company, outsourcing jobs can be ethically sound and beneficial to them if carried out appropriately. For example, most evidently, if the company chose to terminate Bob’s position and outsource his software developing job directly to China, they would cut wage costs significantly. They would no longer have to pay Bob’s yearly salary of $250,000, would only have to pay the subcontractor in China $50,000 a year, and would save approximately $200,000 a year by doing so.

    However, specific to this situation, Bob’s approach to outsourcing at his work place definitely presents an ethical dilemma. The main reason for this is because Bob did not disclose his actions to the company. He was outsourcing his job privately and for the sole purpose of benefiting himself over the company. In doing so, many ethical issues arose. From the aspect of security, in the article, it is evident that the company took many steps in order to ensure their computer system remained private and only accessible to employees. By outsourcing his work to a subcontractor unknown to the company and giving them full access to the private computer system, Bob violated the company’s security. Another issue is that while Bob was playing games on his computer all day at the office and essentially getting paid to do nothing, other employees were actually doing their own work in order to earn their salary. This created inequality between Bob and the other employees because of the significant difference between their workload and wage rate against his. Lastly, this situation brings into question the authenticity of any work Bob has done in the past or will do in the future. Bob falsely represented himself by taking credit for the work of his subcontractor in China and his deceit has ruined his credibility which will be detrimental to him in the future.

    Reply
  4. Ben Lo

    This article has been one of the most interesting articles so far. The article talked about a man outsourced his job to a company in China that provides good quality work that is handed in on time. I thought this was a genius move by Bob. Bob was getting paid 250k a year and paid the Chinese company 50k a year. Bob pocketed 200k from doing little to no work, which is why there is an ethical dilemma. What Bob is doing is close to plagiarism, he is taking credit for other peoples work. Also he received pay and praise from this company for not actually doing any work. I thought the most interesting part of the article that made me laugh was “Quarter after quarter, his performance review noted him as the best developer in the building.” This shows that there are benefits to outsourcing work to a company in a different country. Bob’s actions showed the company that a company in China that will produce professional quality work that will be handed in on time for one fifth of the price they are paying Bob. If the company outsourced to china the company would save money for better quality work. A disadvantage to this would be less jobs for the home company and the home country would lose jobs to foreign countries which can have a negative effect on the economy. Also if the company decided to outsource to another company they would lose control and lose important company secrets.

    Reply
  5. Ben Robinson

    There is an ethical dilemma in what Bob was doing. Outsourcing is completely ok, but in this scenario he wasn’t disclosing what he was doing. That could cause security issues, he is giving private company access to someone he has most likely never met. Bob shouldn’t be able to claim someone else work as his own, to act ethically he should have told the company he was outsourcing his work. He would have then lost his job though because he was of no use to the company. Outsourcing has benefits; it is usually cheaper, but it also has its cons: it can be difficult to control security, quality, and it causes the loss of jobs domestically.

    Reply
  6. Spencer Boles

    There isn’t necessarily an ethical dilemma but it is very impractical for a company to allow because they could just let the person it and save money. I can’t see companies allowing this to happen. One big problem with this would be accountability. If companies hire a person and then lets they outsource their job there is less accountability for the employee that was hired because they could blame the mistakes on the person the job was being outsourced to. It would essentially be redundant to have that employee their when the company could just outsource the job themselves Outsourcing can be a good thing for a company. It often can lead companies to have access to skills and technology they normally would not have access to. They may also have access to resources at a cheaper price than they would find domestically. These could give a company a huge competitive advantage over locally sourced competition. On the other hand some disadvantages of outsourcing are that other countries many not have the same standards that the host country has in terms of safety, health standards as well as other things which could lead to sub-standard products being developed. This can lead to problems and potentially cost the company more money than was anticipated by their original estimate of how much outsourcing would cost.
    I think it is safe to say outsourcing is not without risk but if you outsource in a smart way and do your homework about where your outsourcing to it can yield huge reward to.

    Reply
  7. Wancong Lu

    This is not a common issue in the world, and i just saw a video talk about two americans share to each others job, that can spend more time with their families. Bob did the same thing instead of let his company know. there is not an ethical dilemma in what Bob was doing at his place of work. He should let his company knows about it, but do not have to. and what he did is going to work everyday. Even though he pay a Chinese to do his job, he still can finish his work, and be his company’s best software developer. thus, there is no ethical dilemma, company should only care about the results, not what bob did.
    there are a lot of benefits with outsourcing as a company. Nike is a good example of doing that. they sent their design to China or India, let Chinese and india produce their shoes or clothes. This is so convenient and Nike can reduce their cost because of the lower salary of China and India.
    However, there are some pitfalls when a company with outsourcing. one of the biggest risk is that people in the other countries can sell company’s product to other companies. Also, less control is another big problem because of the long distance. Third one is that the exchange rate change a lot, so companies cannot control their cost accurate.
    In my opinion, what is Bob did is a smart idea, not only he can be relax, get more personal time, but also find a good way to do the good job for his company.

    Reply
  8. Tolu Adepoju

    Outsourcing refers to how to how companies trust their business functions to external vendors for cheaper at an offshore location. The Benefits of outsourcing is a cost advantage in this article Bob was getting paid 250,000 and paid the vendor 50,000 which was four times less than what Bob was making and he claimed false credit for his work he did not perform. Another benefit of outsourcing is also efficiency because it leads to increase in productivity in the process depending on the vendor a company decides to use. Time zone advantage also you will be able to get work done while you are closed for the day and when you arrive the next day your work is being delivered. I believe outsourcing also creates faster and better service, the company deemed Bob to be the “best software developer, got glowing performance”. The swiftness and expertise of the vendor that Bob choose made him look really efficient at his job and all he did at work was leisure. I believe that companies should look more into outsourcing because, it saves a lot cost especially in wages. Bob realized this tool and how it could benefit and used it so cheat this employer into thinking he was a top developer. Companies can use findings like this to their benefits because Bob created this idea that has not only saved this having to work as much but was also really effective and efficient as well.

    Reply
  9. Rui. Zhang

    Bob is a very samrt guy, eventhough he outsourcing his job to let the other companys do his work. If parties do not leak each other’s information, that would be a double win situation. Bob made his money by being a perfect absent employee. Bob paid $50 to the guy in China who did not have to claim taxes or commute to work or live outside his hometown and the company got great output. Therefore, I don’t think he did wrong, he simply used a resource at his own expense to get the job done. If the company which contract bob’s work is creditable, outsourcing work to them is not a bad idea. The only one thing should be careful is protect the important information, to prevent the other companys’ threat.

    Reply
  10. Raman Sidhu

    After reading this article I was able to pick out a pro and con for Bobs role in the company. To begin with Bob he was believed to be his company’s top software developers. Working with his company for a long term, he was known to be a family man and no one would have ever thought he would come up with an idea of developing a clever scheme for himself and the company. By reading this article, negatively his scheme can be seen as an example of an ethical issue for an organization. The reason it would be an example of an ethical issue would be because he was taking credit for work that he did not complete on his own. This results to be a dishonest behaviour and probably not an acceptable method by most organizations. Another ethical issue that can be picked out from the article was the violation of internal company policy because Bob was sharing internal security information with a third party.

    This article can also be viewed in a positive way. Positively, performance and results were never a problem for the company as mentioned in the article; “ His code was clean, well-written, and submitted in a timely fashion”. Perhaps to help the organization save some funds, the arrangement of finding a subcontractor such as the one Bob was working with may not be such a bad idea. For example as discussed in the article, Bob earned more than $250,000 a year, but he used $50,000 to pay a subcontractor to do his work. This clearly demonstrates that the company could save by subcontracting as they could adjust the yearly salary and still save money.

    Reply
  11. Beili Bai

    After I read this article, I know it happened because it exist the ethical problem. Bob got fired because he was outsourcing his work to a Chinese firm and paid them $50,000 a year to do his work which is a quarter of his salary. After he did that, he do not need to do any works and just surfing on the internet everyday. Because of Bob did not do his responsibilities for the jobs that he should do. He got a high paid but did nothing for his company. this is very unfair for other employees. His behavior also very dangerours for his company. Because he is a senior officer in his company. When he was outsourcing his work to a chinese firm, he needed provide a lots of dates and informations about his company. I think all of the informations and datas are private and important for his company, If these informations and datas leaked, it will affects the competitiveness of his company in the market. And his firm will loss a lot of money. No company is willing to paid a employee a lot of money but did nothing for the company and make the company get into trouble. I think it is not only a ethical problem. Bob got fired is not enough. He shall be investigated and affix legal liability.

    Reply
  12. Shea Josuttes

    I think the main ethical issue when it come to this case is that Bob was taking credit for work that was not his own. Despite the fact that the work was well done, when a company hires an employee to do a certain job, they expect it will be done by that employee. In the end, even if a plan is clever, ethical issues have to be taken care of immediately as to set a high moral standard for other employees in the company. Though the company may now choose to re-evaluate outsourcing as a strategy for themselves, they most likely don’t want individual employees that they’ve hired and trained to think that it’s okay to take outsourcing decisions upon themselves.
    Of course in this particular case outsourcing worked out well for the employee and in turn the company but there are some obvious negative consequences associated with outsourcing like poor quality, confidentiality issues, a shrinking talent pool and decreased employee moral. All important factors when considering whether or not to outsource.

    (Sorry I posted my first comment with my gmail address)

    Reply
  13. Fangbo He

    I think is an interesting artical after I read it. This article talked about a person Bob who is a wise guy in a situation. Bob was his company’s best software developer, and Bob also was paying a Chinese firm to do his work, I would say that he is a very smart guy. Generally, outsourcing refers to the way in which companies entrust the processes of their business functions to external vendors, and in here Bob did it very vell. Besudes, Bob is a person who like s to take risk, for instance, verizon investigators were contacted. They inspected Bob’s workstation, trying to find whether he had unintentionally downloaded a virus. It looks like Bob knows what he intend to do and what he may lose, he was also making the company more susceptible to threats such as viruses. Finally, people who have same situation with Bob should think through it carefully.

    Reply
  14. Kayla Rothe

    After reading this article I believe that there is definitely an ethical dilemma in the case of Bob outsourcing his work. I think that the main element that would be considered unethical would be that Bob is getting paid for work that he is not actually completing himself. When Bob is assigned a project, he is simply paying someone else a smaller fee to do his work; furthermore, he is receiving the credit for work that is not his – similar to plagiarism.
    This article is able to point out an example of both a pro and con that is associated with outsourcing. When done ethically, there are a number of benefits that can come when businesses choose to outsource. As expressed in the article, a company can save a lot of money if they choose to outsource to another country. While a job well done may be considered a $250,000 salary based on where the company is established, a good job may be $50,000 dollars to an outsourcing country. By choosing this action, a company can save a great deal of money.
    A con expressed in this article outlines the issues involved with security. When Bob was outsourcing his work to someone else in China he was giving away his log in information. By doing so, the individual in China was able to access all the internal information that belongs to the company. Furthermore, outsiders are now able to get into the companies internal information and access stats and hack programs within the company’s computer software.

    Reply
  15. Shea Josuttes

    I think the main ethical issue when it come to this case is that Bob was taking credit for work that was not his own. Despite the fact that the work was well done, when a company hires an employee to do a certain job, they expect it will be done by that employee. In the end, even if a plan is clever, ethical issues have to be taken care of immediately as to set a high moral standard for other employees in the company. Though the company may now choose to re-evaluate outsourcing as a strategy for themselves, they most likely don’t want individual employees that they’ve hired and trained to think that it’s okay to take outsourcing decisions upon themselves.

    Reply
  16. Nathan Watmough

    I think Bob is a smart guy. It’s this kind of thinking and innovation is what get’s people ahead in life. He did take credit for work that wasn’t his which is dishonest and misleading but at the end of the day, he got his job and got a pretty hefty payday for doing almost nothing. This story also shows the efficiency of outsourcing. I wonder if Bob’s little stunt cost some of his coworkers’ jobs as well because the company he was working for outsourced their jobs as well. Why not? They could pay for 5 Chinese employees for the price of one american employee. Sounds like a bargain to me.

    Reply
  17. Gordon Entz

    This is one of the most interesting articles I have read in a while and simply for the creativity Bob should be applauded rather than scorned. What he was doing was actually quite ingenious. For years companies have been outsourcing their work to other companies overseas in order to enrich themselves and Bob simply took this to a whole new level with his outside the box thinking. I understand the question about whether it is unethical but it certainly is not unethical. Bob did not cross any lines nor did he violate company rules. He also didn’t let the company down or perform poorly; on the contrary he seen to it that his job was done better then anyone else in the company. It is a quite unique situation but the company had no rules prohibiting what Bob was doing. Sometimes there are unwritten rules that you need to go by but since it didn’t negatively affect the company and the tasks that Bob was assigned got done there is little doubt that he did anything wrong. I think we need more people like Bob who think outside the box and have an entrepreneurial like he had. It is unfortunate that Bob’s creativity was not appreciated and that he was let go. Reading about this reminded me of a film I saw titled “What’s with Bob.” The film also deals with a “Bob” who has the most unusual ways of doing things.

    Reply
  18. Arth Patel

    There was definitely a case of an ethical dilemma. What Bob was doing was unacceptable and got what he deserved. Outsourcing his own work and letting some third party into the company’s network was the risk that he took. Sure the chinese contractor was trustworthy and didn’t do any harm to the company, but that kind of risk is very high. For all we know the contractor would have been surfing around the company’s secure data which would make them vulnerable and expose the data to it’s competitor. Bob is lying to the company he works for, which trusted him to do his job correctly and honestly. The company is basically wasting it’s $250,000 into someone who doesn’t respect what the company stands for and also doesn’t respect other hard working people in the company. In Bob’s mind, he thought he wasn’t doing anything wrong; what I don’t understand is that how he though he would never get caught by doing this. If only he paid a little attention at his workplace instead of doing nothing and just being relaxed, he would have not been caught that easily so soon. Outsourcing is a good option for a company, which would save a lot of money. But, outsourcing has to be in legal conditions and only if the company decides they want to outsource; not the way Bob did.

    Reply
    1. Xiaolin Zhou

      This article mostly talked about how an experienced , well paid employee got fired because he was found that he has been outsourcing his work to a Chinese company and paying them a A quarter of his salary which violates the regulations of his company. This Chinese company was doing really well so that the top management was pretty satisfied with Bob’s work ( its is actually the Chinese programmer’s work.) Doing this, on the one hand, is beneficial to Bob himself because he would only pay a small portion of his salary the third party and get works done very well. As the article said, during his wartime, Bob just checked his Facebook and watched cat videos, which is very causal and comfortable to him. However, the dark side is that is seems that this kind of outsourcing is not so ethical. According the article, it is not allowed to outsource his or her job the other people at this company. Although Bob did an excellent work it still violates the company’s regulations. Coming back to the work outsourcing itself, if people could use that appropriately, working and programming can be very efficient and reduces costs in a large scale. So what Bob did is really controversial and it is probably not a bad thing if people can make good use of it.

      Reply
  19. Jason Cousins

    I definitely believe there was an ethical dilemma in what Bob was doing. First, Bob was completely lying to his boss about the work he says he was completing each day. Bob would continually present, day after day, the work being completed as his own and make it seem like he was working hard everyday. The sad part about this situation is that he would be sitting at his desk each day making it seem like he was working, therefore, his supervisors assumed it was his work. Secondly, Bob was taking credit for someone else’s hard work. He was paying a guy in China, probably less than what he would be making, to do the work for him. Bob was taking advantage of this man in China and pulling the wool over the eyes of his company.
    Furthermore, Bob had given full accesses of his company to a source in China. Who knows what this programmer in China could have done with the accesses he had; steal company information, company secrets, employee personal information, and financial information, to name a few. On top of that, the programmer could have sold this information to anyone and could have placed various viruses and malware on the server. Bob made a very big mistake that could have cost the company and their employees. The infrastructure company should have been more involved checking their employee’s movements on the company’s server because Bob’s negligence could have been caught earlier.

    Reply
  20. Jennifer B

    There is definitely an ethical dilemma to what Bob was doing, outsourcing his work to someone else in unethical for a number of reasons. Not only is it a huge violation of the company’s privacy and codes of conduct but also puts the company at huge risk with allowing an outsider having that access to the company. It opens up the company to the potential of facing internal attacks from China such as viruses etc. Bob is ultimately lying to the company he works for. Another reason this is an ethical dilemma is because the company is paying Bob to do his designated job, yet he isn’t doing it. As mentioned in the article he is getting paid a lot of money to sit on the computer checking his Facebook, while someone else is doing all his work. Bob was taking advantage of his employers trust, he might have thought he had a good system however; I don’t understand how he thought he would never got caught. I think he was taking quite the risk putting his trust in a stranger to do his job and essentially control his reputation within the company. I feel like this is extremely unethical. Outsourcing has its advantages for companies but it should have been the company’s decision to outsource the work if needed not for Bob to decide on his own. Some benefits of outsourcing including cheaper labor, and allowing the company to focus more specifically.

    Reply
  21. Glenn ZoBell

    There is a large ethical dilemma with what Bob was doing at his place of work. Outsourcing his job to someone else is unethical for many different reasons. One reason is that as the article mentioned, it violated the company’s rules and codes of conduct. Another reason is that the company is paying Bob 250,000 dollars a year to do basically nothing but pretend he is working. This is dishonest on Bob’s part and he is also exposing the company’s privacy without them knowing. The company could have hired the same company for 200,000 dollars less and got the same results.
    The benefits of outsourcing to a company are evident in this article. As discussed it seems like it is much cheaper. The company could have save 200,000 dollars a year to get the same amount of work done. Another benefit is that companies may require fewer employees while outsourcing, which again results in fewer costs.
    This article doesn’t show any major risks of outsourcing but I imagine there are some in other situations. Possible risks could be that outsourcing to another company makes it more difficult to enforce the home company’s code of conduct and privacy rules. Other risks could be that it is more difficult to monitor the work and to be more specific on what work you want done depending on who you outsource to.
    Overall Bob deserved to be fired for lying to his company and violating their rules. The company should go back and outsource to the same company so that they can receive the same great work but for much less cost.

    Reply
  22. Joalee Mann

    There are a couple of ethical issues with Bob’s story. First, Bob is letting someone from China access the company’s internal networks, having the potential to internally attack the company in some form. Also, Bob is taking credit for someone else’s work.

    The solution seems to be to cut Bob out as the middle man and hire the guy from China at a better wage then bob was offering him, but substantially less than what the company was paying Bob. If the company was already heading into the realm of a mobile work force, they could probably successfully outsource many of their workers involved with programming and IT.

    The main benefit with outsourcing is to cut direct labour costs. Another reason, depending on the company, could be to pass legal liabilities on to a third party contractor. For example, a company that has a product and a component of that product is outsourced to another company, if that component were to malfunction, the legal responsibilities can often fall onto the third party contractor.

    There is a trade-off between cost-savings and control. The most important pitfall of outsourcing is that the more people involved in the process that fall outside of the organization, the less control the organization has over the process and final product. Often there can be a loss of quality or consistency, making it difficult to plan for the future. It is important for companies to be able to remain in control or at least have very reliable supply chains.

    Reply
  23. Ajuot Ajuot

    It is interesting article to read. I would perhaps say Bob is a great risk taker. He chooses to get what he wants or loses what he has. For instance, by giving out his logging in number to stranger that he has never had information about, Bob exposes company into external threats, and at the same time, risks himself in to two ways. For example, the chances of him losing his job if caught are high as indeed he lost it. The possibility of company suing him are higher, too. But, because he is a risk taker as mentioned before, Bob decides to continue with his game of outsourcing without company knowledge of his act. Although this outsourcing has not been mutually agreed by all stakeholders that is the company, Bob and Chinese firm, all of the stakeholders get the benefits of outsourcing. For instance, the company software was well developed as the Chinese firm did great job. Bob gets good money and also credit for doing wonderful job though he was later discredited. Chinese firms too gets good money from Bob as $ 50,000 that Bob uses to pay it are really huge money in other local currencies. In overall, the outsourcing was not generally agreed, but beneficial to all.

    Reply
  24. Bola Fowosere

    “One is considered innocent unless proven guilty”. Outsourcing refers to the way in which companies entrust the processes of their business functions to external vendors. Basically, outsourcing is when a firm pays or hire overseas companies, located anywhere around the world to do tasks or provide services that it might otherwise have employed its own staffs to perform. As outsourcing is fast becoming widespread, more and more companies are using it as an attempt or means of cutting cost, raising profits and staying competitive in a surging complex business environment. Apart from the cost advantage, time zone differential – between one’s country and the location one is outsourcing to – is also one of the benefits of outsourcing as this allows firms to get their job done effectively and efficiently. In essence, it gives the benefit of “round-the-clock business operations”. In itself outsourcing is not illegal or unethical, but a legal business activity, which is an inevitable respond to globalization and international trade. While it provides jobs to people in regions that lack opportunity for economic growth, outsourcing could result in intellectual theft as it lacks regulation to protect personal and sensitive information. Based on the article, Bob’s action could be considered ethical if he was open to discuss and communicate his intensions to his supervisor rather than expose the company’s information and take credit for what he did not do. Probably, he could have discussed the opportunities or benefit of outsourcing, especially since the Chinese firm was doing an excellent work.

    Reply
  25. Krysten Lumsden

    Any time I read a story like this I find myself shocked. I mean, how do people think that they will get away with doing things like this? Yes, of course they will get away with it for a while, but I say to myself, it must occur to them that they will be caught, at some point. I wonder if people like this at some unconsciously level want to be caught. And it always seems to be the people you’d think would know better, whether its programs in a software company, tellers stealing from banks, adulterous and corrupt politicians or other white collar criminals like runners of Ponzi schemes and mortgage fraud. Eventually the truth comes to light. Maybe not in every instance but in time it seems a good lot of it does.
    And again it goes to show you that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Why does it seem that society (I guess) has trained us to look for deception in all the wrong places? Why are we continually shocked to find out that the people committing these acts are often times the people we trust the most to protect us from such crimes or unethical behaviour in the first place? Maybe the bigger lesson is that at the end of the day we are all human those who deceive us (the wolves in sheep’s clothing) and the deceived (who are still telling our children, for example, to be wary of strangers instead of being the most vary of those closest to them). And what is the price of ethical behaviour – keeping up with of one’s LinkedIn account, Facebook updates and cat videos. That seems even more upsetting to me than the unethical behaviour itself. I mean come on. If you’re going to risk your good name, at least risk if for something worthwhile.

    Reply
  26. Hongyu Xu

    According to this case, there definitely exist the ethical dilemma. Since Bob did not do his responsibilities for the jobs that he should do. He is getting high paid, but he did nothing, just surfing on the internet, which is very unfair. Also he allow someone outside the company to have access to the company data, this behavior lead to a very serious problem. Because the personal data and information would be threaten, this also would allow the potential hackers to access that data, and sell any personal information. At the meanwhile, everyone is threaten, such as the employees, customers, clients, and the owner. The company would experience a big loss from their business.
    and there can exist some benefits for a company to outsourcing. If a company outsource to another company, this company can focus more on the things that they are good at, so that they can have more competitive advantages and benefits.
    however, like the case in the article, there exist the pitfalls for outsourcing, because may be some company which were chosen to be outsourced are not professional or they do not have the ethical behaviors, it would cause a big concerns and threats to this company.

    Reply
  27. Nadine Eagle Child

    I had to laugh after reading this article, I totally agree with Valentines’ comment that the employee was pretty clever. However Bob”s actions totally go against any normal person’s ethics. How could you pretend to work at home while actually just surfing the net and geting $250,000/year without actually doing any work. I just can’t imagine how Bob could have done what he did and not feel bad about it. He not only lied about the work he was paid to do he left his company vulnerabe to the guy in China who could have done some unsavory things as well. Bob ended up costing the company money by them having to hire an outside source to check their security system. While I realize that the company was allowing staff to work from home and telecommute, Bob’s actions put the other staff into a difficult spot if the company decided to do away with telecommuting. And for sure he made it more difficult for staff to prove that they are doing what they are paid to do. Bob got what was coming and got caught. Crazy thing to do.

    Reply
  28. Kim Sikhosana

    There is a big ethical dilemma with what Bob was doing because not only was he lying about his work, he was also making the company more susceptible to threats such as viruses. The benefits of outsourcing are that it is usually cheaper to get the job done. It also gives the employees of the company more time to do other tasks. Some risks of outsourcing are that it lowers security within the firms. Just as Bob gave his log in information to someone in China, that person can also give the log in info to someone who can be a hacker. It is also hard to monitor workers who are not in the same building/ area of the work.

    Reply

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