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      It is vital to examine this question in terms of it most basic premise. The employer and employee relationship are rather unique yet objective. In essence the employer and employee relationship entails a symbiotic connection in which the employers’ actions directly influence the employee and vice versa. Hence it is important to examine such relationship in terms of impact of actions.

      Essentially, an employee is under legal and moral obligation to abide by the rules that are governing the work place. It is the only tangible way to determine the employee obligation without abstract interference of non objective and non tangible moral issues. Hence, it is fair to suggest that in order to set limits and guidelines to govern moral and legal obligations; one has to follow those guidelines that are exclusively prescribed by the employer which may entail industry wide standards. For instance, if the employer has an explicit code of conduct that includes confidentiality in terms of internal R&D or electronic correspondence, the employee is bound / obliged by those exclusive guidelines.

      However, there may be “gray areas” which have not been defined or the guidelines are vague. For instance, in R&D matters, there may be instances in which some information is available publicly, yet in connection with internal R&D that particular information may become extremely valuable. In such cases, it is obvious that unless the employers code of conduct has a prescribe set of standard operating procedures; the employee is reasonably free to conduct him / herself with simple common sense / common courtesy behavior.

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