A MODEL FOR THINKING ABOUT ETHICAL, SOCIAL,
AND POLITICAL ISSUES
Ethical, social, and political issues are closely linked. The ethical dilemma you may face as a manager of information systems typically is reflected in social and political debate. One way to think about these relationships is given in
Figure 4-1. Imagine society as a more or less calm pond on a summer day, a delicate ecosystem in partial equilibrium with individuals and with social and political institutions. Individuals know how to act in this pond because social institutions (family, education, organizations) have developed well-honed rules of behavior, and these are supported by laws developed in the political sector that prescribe behavior and promise sanctions for violations. Now toss a rock into the center of the pond. But imagine instead of a rock that the disturbing force is a powerful shock of new information technology and systems hitting a society more or less at rest. What happens? Ripples, of course.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ETHICAL, SOCIAL, AND …show more content…
Although the gap is narrowing, higher-income families in each ethnic group are still more likely to have home computers and
Internet access than lower-income families in the same group.
A similar digital divide exists in U.S. schools, with schools in high-poverty areas less likely to have computers, high-quality educational technology programs, or Internet access availability for their students. Left uncorrected, the digital divide could lead to a society of information haves, computer literate and skilled, versus a large group of information have-nots, computer illiterate and unskilled. Public interest groups want to narrow this digital divide by making digital information services—including the Internet—available to virtually everyone, just as basic telephone service is now.
H e a l t h R i s k s : R S I , C V S , a n d Te c h n o s t r e s s
The most important occupational disease today is repetitive stress injury
(RSI). RSI occurs when muscle groups are forced through repetitive actions often with high-impact loads (such as tennis) or tens of thousands of repetitions under low-impact loads (such as working at a computer keyboard).
The single largest source of RSI is computer keyboards. The most