Ethics. “The Responsible Administrator” By Cooper Writing Sample

Introduction

In part two, chapter six of his book, The Responsible Administrator, Cooper (2012) gives a guideline on how to maintain responsible conduct in public organizations. He identifies four major components of responsible conduct which are individual attributes, organizational structure, organizational culture, and societal expectations.

Cooper (2012) gives two approaches to maintaining responsible conduct which is internal and external controls. He defines internal controls as those which involve the professional values and standards that a public servant has assimilated to through personal and professional socialization while external controls are those which are imposed on such a public servant from outside the individual, such as codes of ethics and legislation on ethics. Both of these approaches are viewed from the public organization’s management perspective (Cooper, 2012).

Internal controls

The internal controls are quite subjective as they depend on the individual’s ability to make ethical decisions, their virtues as a person, their mental attitude towards ethics, and their professional conduct (Cooper, 2012). These factors also affect an individual’s attributes influencing their choices on ethical matters. An example of an ethical situation whose outcome would rely on an individual’s internal controls is a public procurement officer with the authority to award tenders being approached by a potential contractor to discuss the award of a tender to the contractor, who by all other measures has met the minimum qualifications for the award, but the contractor proposes a consideration in form of a bribe. The official may award the tender and no one will know, but his decision will constitute an offense. His decision to accept the deal or not will depend on his internal ethical controls.

External controls

External controls on the other hand are objective as they are laid out in organizational policy documents, legislation by Congress, and codes of ethics. Cooper also points out that the public itself is vital in placing external controls, as it is the “owner” of the public organization (Cooper, 2012). These controls intend to put on check individuals in public service and to safeguard the assets and interests of the public. Due to their objectivity, they can be used to prevent and manage ethical situations where individual controls may have the shortfall of subjectivity. In the example above of the public administrator approached with a bribe, an organizational policy can be adopted where the tender is awarded through a separate board as opposed to vesting that power in an individual and expecting them to act ethically.

Conclusion

The two approaches cannot be looked at in isolation without looking at their relation to the components of responsible conduct. This is because all four components of responsible conduct seem to touch on areas involving the two approaches of maintaining responsible conduct. Individual attributes can be monitored by the use of an individual’s internal controls while the organizational structure and organizational culture can be monitored through external controls. Societal expectations affect both the individual and the organization; therefore both the internal and external controls should be aligned to meet them (Cooper, 2012).

The public administrator is thus faced with the question of which of these perspectives to apply more in his approach to ethical issues. Cooper (2012) suggests that the administrator should integrate the four components of responsible conduct to fully integrate and implement both the internal and the external controls of maintaining responsible conduct in a public organization.

Reference

Cooper, Terry. L. (2012). The Responsible Administrator, 6th Ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

How To Prevent Leakage Of Patient Health Information

After having researched the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse database, I selected three different cases. The first incident of an insider breach type happened on May 25, 2017, at White Blossom Care Center, San Jose, California. One of the former employees improperly accessed residents’ data at the time of the employment. Inappropriately retrieved files included patients’ personal information, including social security numbers and date of birth, as well as medical information. The breach’s consequences are not clear, as it is not stated whether the employee aimed to obtain data on purpose. The ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses underscores that nurse leaders advocate and promote the rights and safety of patients (Page & Simpson, 2016). Hence, the strategy for dealing with similar situations is to educate nursing professionals by providing real-life cases. Guidelines on the latest legislation and breach prevention steps should be made available for all employees.

In 2018, Jemison Internal Medicine (JIM) in Alabama was attacked by a ransomware virus that encrypted its electronic medical records system. This ransomware demanded payment to bring back access to the system. Further investigation of the hacking incident revealed that unauthorized individuals had already connected to it in 2017. JIM was not able to confirm which type of personal or medical data was stolen. Hacking, especially malware, is the leading cause of the health data breach (Coventry & Branley, 2018). Hackers are motivated by the perspective of political and financial gains as healthcare data has more value than any other type of it. First of all, the nursing leader has to ensure sufficient funding for the development of software security. The fragmented cybersecurity investment is exacerbated by the lack of professional expertise in this domain. Furthermore, it is vital to implement standards for information management within the organization.

Healthcare provider Blue Shield of California admitted an intended disclosure of the Protected Health Information (PHI) that occurred in 2017. During the 2018 Medicare annual enrolment, an employee of the company shared a document containing PHI with an insurance broker. As a result, the broker might have contacted some of the individuals to offer a Medicare Advantage Plan provided by another insurer. The action of the employee violated the policy of Blue Shield, affecting its professional reputation. The company has reported to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services and has taken action to re-train its employees. Nursing leaders must be aware of the possibilities of this kind of information misuse to warn their patients. Their prevention strategy should rely on HIPPA legislation and the HITECH Act, which makes businesses and vendors accountable for the PHI breach.

Healthcare technologies assist medical professionals at all levels and enhance the quality of services. Electronic health records improve patients’ care by making access to PHI easier. At the same time, these advanced tools have brought new challenges associated with inadequate cybersecurity and privacy loss. The cases mentioned above demonstrate that the prevention of hacking, unintended and intended disclosures has to be at the core of the information management strategy. The role of nursing leadership is to raise cybersecurity awareness among team members. The concept of “see something, say something” can be employed to train the staff to report suspicious activities (Lee, 2017). Nurse leaders need to develop skills to access, analyze, and transform highly sensitive data properly. Healthcare data breaches lead to harmful personal and social impacts on the personnel, patients, and their families. The rapid evolution of big data applications and artificial intelligence will make this problem even more complicated.

References

Coventry, L., & Branley, D. (2018). Cybersecurity in healthcare: A narrative review of trends, threats, and ways forward. Maturitas, 113, 48-52.

Lee, K. (2017). Cybersecurity awareness. Protection data and patients. Nursing Management, 48(4), 16-19.

Page, C. K., & Simpson, R. L. (2016). Nurse leader challenges in data transparency: Eyes to the future. Nurse Leader, 14(4), 271–274.

Big Data And New Marketing Research Techniques

Introduction

Marketing research always involves analysing a large amount of information because it should address a number of significant factors, including product characteristics, market conditions, and consumer behaviour. New methods of collecting and processing data enable more efficient design and verification of research hypotheses. According to Constantiou and Kallinikos (2015), “Big data and the mechanisms by which it is produced and disseminated introduce important changes in the ways information is generated and made relevant for organisations” (p. 44). This paper examines the impact of Big Data and new research techniques on conducting market and consumer research.

Market Research

Market analysis involves evaluating existing products, competitors, and economic trends, including supply and demand. Big Data is a set of approaches, tools, and methods for processing structured and unstructured data of vast volumes and a great variety in order to draw meaningful conclusions (Constantinou & Kallinikos, 2015). This phenomenon appeared due to technological developments, including the increasing influence of digital space. In modern times, market information is more transparent and accessible, as much of the data is contained on the Internet. Therefore, new marketing research techniques are related to its effective collection and analysis.

Consequently, market research is increasingly focused on digital data and social media. According to Erickson (2017), Big Data analysis methods, including neural networks and advanced statistics, make it possible to examine entire market segments and predict specific outcomes. Market researchers can use Big Data to determine the best placement channels for their products and adjust their supply chains. However, a thorough market analysis requires employing information technologies and complicated mathematical algorithms and calculations. The significance of the data collection phase decreases over time as the digital environment provides free access to information, but the choice of methods of data processing and analysis is paramount.

Consumer Research

It should be noted that consumer research most often implies generalisation of study findings to a broader population. Digital data enables access to “the reality of public opinion” and allows for making the “rationale of consumers’ tastes, opinions and judgments appear through their formatted individual expressions” (Boullier & O’Hagan, 2017, p. 35). Social media and other digital sources provide researchers with insights into consumer identity. Surveys and questionnaires are still in active use, but due to Big Data methods, they can be presented to a more significant number of potential customers. In addition, direct forms of consumer expressions and judgments are also available to researchers.

At the same time, social media can contain excessive amounts of contradictory and false information about consumers. Big Data analysis is also valuable because it processes large volumes and a variety of data with high velocity, which significantly exceeds human capacity (Erevelles, Fukawa, & Swayne, 2016). For example, neural networks can compare and evaluate information, identifying obviously irrelevant or most valuable. In this way, researchers may use these methods to construct an image of consumers’ real needs and values.

Conclusion

It may be concluded that Big Data and new research techniques have greatly influenced the market and consumer research. They imply the use of advances in information technology to explore vast and diverse volumes of information, including digital content. These methods require more competence and training but provide enhanced opportunities to analyse market conditions, products, competitors, and consumers. The methods of processing and assessing huge volumes of information are the basis of the modern approach.

References

Boullier, D., & O’Hagan, J. (2017). Big data challenge for social sciences and market research: from society and opinion to replications. In F. Cochoy, J. Hagberg, M. McIntyre, & N. Sörum (Eds.), Digitalizing consumption, tracing how devices shape consumer culture (pp. 20–40). London, England: Routledge.

Erevelles, S., Fukawa, N., & Swayne, L. (2016). Big Data consumer analytics and the transformation of marketing. Journal of Business Research, 69(2), 897-904.

Erickson, G. S. (2017). New methods of market research and analysis. Cheltenham, England: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Constantinou, I. D., & Kallinikos, J. (2015). New games, new rules: big data and the changing context of strategy. Journal of Information Technology, 30(1), 44-57.

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