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Logistics Operations and Strategic Planning: Ethical Issues


Reverse logistics managers and strategic planners possess informational needs that should be satisfied to ensure the success of processes (Karim, 2011). Currently, several information systems (IS) exist that help inform their decisions, including the Executive Information System (EIS) used by executives to access timely, meaningful, and relevant strategic information in suitable formats to their needs. Others include the Decision Support System (DSS), which models data to support managers in making routine decisions in strategic planning and reverse logistics and the Transaction Processing System (TPS) that records and processes the data transactions of an enterprise (Karim, 2011).

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Business Ethics

Professional ethics must guide the use of the EIS, TPS, and DSS. Ethical conduct entails a collection of principles of good practice within the business environment. It includes issues that deal with matters of moral accountability related to doing good or bad (Prajogo & Sohal, 2013). Reverse logistics operations and strategic planning require the proper use of data by various experts involved in the process (Prajogo & Sohal, 2013).

Ethical Issues

Seemingly, executives encounter similar types of moral issues faced by other business professionals, i.e., conflict of interest, theft, environmental impact, and equal opportunity (Karim, 2011). Concerning privacy, executives and managers face a dilemma on what information about the firm and the clients they must reveal to others, and under what circumstances and safeguards the data should be released. Some information ought not to be disclosed to protect the firm’s solvency. For instance, pricing information, even across supply chain conglomerates, should remain confidential. Companies find information security to be a major worry, especially about data storage, accessibility and privileges (Richey, Morgan, Lindsey-Hall, & Adams, 2016). The concern is where to store data safely and whether the contemporary storage systems – cloud services or private internal systems – provide enough security for accumulated information (Richey et al., 2016). Emerging economies are more concerned with privacy and protecting consumer information. Further, government regulations and social standards emphasize this concern and insist on consumer consent before using this information.

Secondly, the individual liable for the authenticity, accuracy, and fidelity of information is an ethical concern. Who should take responsibility for the errors in data and how the affected entity is to be made whole? Data quality and accuracy are often changing, and many people manage input into various systems, making it hard to determine a unified version of truth (Prajogo & Sohal, 2013). Frequently, decision makers, not quite understanding the core logic, rely on a model rooted in the IS tool which has ceased to echo the changed world (Prajogo & Sohal, 2013). Similarly, the IS designers do not ensure the mechanisms are availed for expedited and easy updating of the model underlying the IS (Karim, 2011). In addition, issues with information redundancy can create waste that negatively affects IS usefulness (Richey et al., 2016). Such cases can generate false data that can result in customer dissatisfaction, loss of profit, severe penalties, and even lawsuits. TPS acts as the source data for other systems in an enterprise, and if it is not adequately analyzed and integrated, it can give wrong information regarding new company plans. Because TPS is a link between the firm and its clients, it determines their interrelationships.

Thirdly, the ownership of the information, the just payment for the data exchange, the proprietorship of the channels of information transmission and the information resource allocation are some aspects of concern to the information system users (Richey et al., 2016). Additionally, there is a dilemma on ascertaining the information that a person or an organization has a right or privilege to obtain, and the circumstances and safeguards surrounding those rights and privileges. Limiting data privileges to those who expressly need access to it helps to prevent corporate information abuse.


While organizations utilize various IS to help run their daily operations and make sound and proper decisions, the above moral issues are challenges that the organization management must address.


Karim, A. J. (2011). The significance of management information systems for enhancing strategic and tactical planning. Journal of Information Systems and Technology Management, 8(2), 459-470. Web.

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Prajogo, D., & Sohal, A. (2013), Supply chain professionals: A Study of competencies, use of technologies, and future challenges. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 33(11/12), 1532-1554. Web.

Richey, R. G., Morgan, T. R., Lindsey-Hall, K., & Adams, F. G. (2016). A global exploration of big data in the supply chain. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 46(8), 710-739. Web.

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