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Nature of e-business ethical dilemmas

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Electronic business is based on using computers and networks in all aspects of business. This new business concept is developing its own culture, which faces many ethical dilemmas. One is the role of the chief information officer (CIO). As a leader of information technology application in the organisation, the CIO's ethical behaviour influences the ethics of the electronic business culture in the organisation. In electronic business both the chief executive officer (CEO) and the CIO are responsible for the organisational culture. That is, the CIO has capabilities for reasoning, forming values and making information decisions that contributes to creating corporate core values. From an employee's perspective the CIO is treated as the employer. But being employed by the organisation in a similar way to the rest of the employees, the CIO can also be treated as an employee of the organisation. This duality in the role of CIO causes ethical dilemmas that may be solved through establishing ethical codes that are based on existing global ethical codes. Explores the nature of ethical dilemmas related to e-business and proposes possible solutions, drawing on information from case studies of two Australian companies.
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Keywords: Electronic commerce; Ethics; Information management; Information officers; Organizational culture

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-04-01

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