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Ethical Development of Advanced Technology: A Postmodern Stakeholder Perspective

Kristi Yuthas and Jesse F. Dillard
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 19, No. 1, Fourth Annual International Conference Promoting Business Ethics (Mar., 1999), pp. 35-49
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25074072
Page Count: 15
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Ethical Development of Advanced Technology: A Postmodern Stakeholder Perspective
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Abstract

Zygmunt Bauman is arguably the most well-known theorist in postmodern ethics. He argues that to develop and enforce universal ethical laws or codes leads to an abdication of individual moral responsibility. Actors rely on external rules and a rational consideration of costs and benefits rather than on moral impulse. In order to recognize and act upon moral impulse, the moral agent must both recognize and understand the Other. We operationalize these ideas, applying them to the development of advanced information technology (AIT) in organizations. We propose that a stakeholder theory of enabling can be used to formulate processes that will give form and voice to the Other by providing mechanisms for face-to-face interactions and dialogue. Applying the principles of affirmative postmodern ethics through an enabling stakeholder oriented system development process explicitly allows for the examination of moral concerns which might otherwise be overlooked, ignored, or silenced.

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