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Management Information System Book

Ethical and Societal Dimensions. The vital role of
information technologies and systems in society raises
serious ethical and societal issues in terms of their impact
on employment, individuality, working conditions,
privacy, health, and computer crime, as illustrated in
Figure 13.2 .
Employment issues include the loss of jobs—a result
of computerization and automation of work—versus
the jobs created to supply and support new information
technologies and the business applications they make
possible. The impact on working conditions involves
the issues of computer monitoring of employees and
the quality of the working conditions of the jobs that
use information technologies heavily. The effect of IT
on individuality addresses the issues of the depersonalization,
regimentation, and inflexibility of some computerized
business systems.
Employees’ heavy use of computer workstations
for long periods raises issues about and may cause
work-related health disorders. The use of IT to access
or collect private information without authorization,
as well as for computer profiling, computer
matching, computer monitoring, and computer libel
and censorship, raises serious privacy issues. Computer
crime issues surround activities such as hacking,
computer viruses and worms, cyber-theft, unauthorized
use at work, software piracy, and piracy of intellectual
Managers, business professionals, and IS specialists
can help solve the problems of improper use of
IT by assuming their ethical responsibilities for the
ergonomic design, beneficial use, and enlightened
management of information technologies in our
Ethical Responsibility in Business. Business and IT
activities involve many ethical considerations. Basic
principles of technology and business ethics can serve as
guidelines for business professionals when dealing with
ethical business issues that may arise in the widespread
use of information technology in business and society.
Examples include theories of corporate social responsibility,
which outline the ethical responsibility of management
and employees to a company’s stockholders,
stakeholders, and society, and the four principles of
technology ethics summarized in Figure 13.4 .
Security Management. One of the most important
responsibilities of the management of a company is to
ensure the security and quality of its IT-enabled business
activities. Security management tools and policies can
ensure the accuracy, integrity, and safety of the information
systems and resources of a company and thus minimize
errors, fraud, and security losses in its business
activities. Examples mentioned in the chapter include the
use of encryption of confidential business data, firewalls,
e-mail monitoring, antivirus software, security codes,
backup files, security monitors, biometric security measures,
computer failure controls, fault-tolerant systems,
disaster recovery measures, information system controls,
and security audits of business systems.
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