Information Systems Frontiers

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 383–397 | Cite as

Tomorrow’s ethics and today’s response: An investigation into the ways information systems professionals perceive and address emerging ethical issues

Article

Abstract

This paper explores the question of how foresight and futures research can identify and address ethical issues in the field of Information Systems (IS). Starting from the premise that such IS are part of socio-technical systems, the interaction between technology and human actors raise ethical concerns. Early recognition of these concerns can address ethical issues and improve the use of the technology for a range of social and organisational goals. This paper discusses research conducted in two futures research projects. Both projects investigated emerging information and communication technologies (ICTs) and ethics. The first project established approaches for identifying future technologies and their related ethical concerns. This led to the identification of 11 emerging ICTs and their associated ethical concerns. The second project took these general ethical concerns and focused on their role in IS. Specifically, how IS professionals view future emerging technologies, their associated ethical concerns, and how they think these concerns could be addressed. The key findings are that IS professionals are primarily interested in the job at hand and less so in the ethical concerns that the job might bring; ethics is a concern that is best left for others to deal with. This paper considers the implications of research on ethics in emerging ICTs and draws general conclusions about the relevance of future technologies research in IS.

Keywords

Emerging technologies Ethical issues IS professionals 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.De Montfort UniversityThe GatewayLeicesterUK

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