Habib Ullah Khan Case Study Related To Ethics And Information System

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Department of Accounting & Information Systems
Course Code: MIST201 Course Title: Introduction to Management Information Systems (MIS) Course Section/Campus: Male/Female Semester: Fall Start Date: 9-14th November, 2014 30th November, 2014 Dr. Habib Ullah Khan Case Study Related to Ethics and Technology First Semester 2014/15

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Associates are almost always people who need all the work they can get. According to Paul Blank of the Web site WakeUpWalMart.com, which is supported by the United Food and Commercial Workers union, “What the computer is trying to optimize is the most number of parttime and least number of full-time workers at lower labor costs, with no regard for the effect that it has on workers’ lives.” Sarah Clark, speaking on behalf of Wal-Mart, insists the system’s goal; is simply to improve customer service by shortening checkout lines and better meeting the need of shoppers. To assist in the development of its computerized scheduling system in all of its stores, Wal-Mart requests that its associates submit “personal availability” forms. Language on the form instructs associates that “Limiting your personal availability may restrict the number of hours you are scheduled.” Anecdotal evidence suggests that some workers have indeed seen their hours cut and their shifts bounced around. Experienced associates with high pay rates have expressed concern that the system enables managers to pressure them into quitting. If they are unwilling to work nights and weekends, managers have a justification for replacing them with new workers who will make much less per hour. Sarah Clark denied that the system is used in this manner. Critics of the system can cite the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, which states, “The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce.” No legal battles over computerized scheduling appear imminent, so interpreting whether Wal-Mart’s strategy equals treating its labor force as a commodity will have to wait. In the meantime, Wal-Mart is once again at the forefront of technology trends in its industry. Ann Taylor Stores, Limited Brands, Gap,

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