Straight Angle™: Interesting!
Tuesday, May 22, 2007


This news item that appeared in BBC today, caught my attention. The news is about Google deciding to ban essay writing ads from appearing. This is a classic case of clash between ethics/morality and business. The legitimate businesses that provide essay writing services- the business line here is legitimate. They are in outsourcing industry- its that simple. However, how many of us are comfortable with an University student buying an essay from one of these companies and submitting it, as his own?

Personally, I find no wrong in essay writing companies doing what they are doing. It is a legitimate business avenue for them. They get their work outsourced from their clients. Students in this case are outsourcing their job of learning/preparing a document about their learning to these third parties. Is it something wrong? My business logic says it isn't. I would try to get my job done as easily and best quality as possible. That is what all outsourcing is about. I get my job done at the cheapest and efficient place possible. It is also about the "Core Competency". May be essay writing is not my core competency. May be studying is not my core competency. So, I outsource that to someone who does it best. But where I go wrong in this case is, when I claim such a work as mine. If I dont claim that work as mine, then there is no point in me wanting that work done..right? The essay writing companies claim that they warn the users that, the work cannot be claimed as user's own is at best, sort of a disclaimer that no one really cares about. I really don't believe the claim that their essays are not being used for submission. As I said, there is absolutely no use in me paying for a work whose only purpose is submission as my own and not submit it!

It's a good case study for ethics class is all that I can say. Having done some ethics case studies, I think this case will have not differing opinions. Everyone will try to be in the "right" side of the divide. How can I justify the stance that the material is not used for plagiarism purposes? It is completely a personal ethical stance that every individual takes. As such, morality and ethics are seldom practiced as a group - though they get framed by a group- its always an individual that needs to follow it!- Weird World- Weird People!

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Blogger priti said...

"Students in this case are outsourcing their job of learning/preparing a document about their learning to these third parties."

Being a student myself I dont agree with it....this is not meant to be thought in the business sense...when a student wishes to get a degree it should be solely out of his own work...if that work is outsourced what is the use of a degree that certifies that the above mentioned student is capable of doing what he has done???....From an Industry or a business point of view your concern is genuine as you are not required to do anything and everything to make sure that the puzzle fits properly in the big picture...in that case outsourcing to a third part is perfectly fine....So depends the perspective that you are looking it from

5/31/2007 1:29 PM  
Blogger priti said...

BTW are you a big fan of Ayn Rand and Objectivism???

5/31/2007 1:31 PM  
Blogger Krish said...

@Priti: Well, coming to your first comment..that is exactly my point too. The sentence was made in a rhetorical sense and not in an assertive sense. While I see there is absolutely no harm in outsourcing such way, I do find it wrong, when the student claims it to be his own. As I had mentioned in my post, I don't subscribe to that practice. Whereas, the business makes sense- they are fully morally right to give what the students want. It's like manufacturing computers- just because some anti-social elements use it to hack or commit fraud, it doesn't make the computer makers bad. Thats my line of argument. May be there ought to be stricter control- like declaring what is the work they have done and the abstract of the work done and presented to the student. This might lead to better monitoring of false claims by the students. But not barring the essay writing companies from their business. If at all, what I mean is, the control should come from the student and not from the business. What do you think?

Coming to your second point, well, I was (and to a good extent is) a follower of Ayn Rand. But as I gre(o)w, I am trying to see a more practical way of following her. Ayn Rand for the most part is an idealist- her characters (lead characters)are mostly black and white- there aren't any "Goood" bad or the "Beautiful" ugly. That's what I meant in your post too..may be the world is gray, because we see it in Gray..may be if we start to see it in black and white, it would be black and white- I am not decided on that. But to answer your questions- I do believe in laissez-faire capitalism, I do believe in Individual rights and I do believe in Libertarianism- though Ayn Rand disowed the last thought, I do believe in that. If that would make me a fan of Ayn Rand..so be it!![:D]

5/31/2007 7:15 PM  

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