|Type of paper:
|Technology Business ethics Moral development
Technology is an important part of our day-to-day lives. It has brought people into a new era of development. Most businesses today have embraced the new developments and have adopted the use of technology so as to improve the productivity. On the other hand, business ethics involves situations in business activities which address what is right and what is wrong when making decisions. According to Crane &Matten (2016), the ethics do not only apply to commercial businesses but also not for profit businesses, government organizations, charities and pressure groups. However, the emergence of technology has posed numerous challenges to business ethics both for an individual, the community, and society at large.
Privacy has emerged to be an issue of concern in the modern technological advancement era. People who study business ethics are still researching and the level privacy that individuals are supposed to have in this digital period. For instance, many business people who are also employers have adopted a tradition of demanding potential employees to issue them with access to their social media accounts like Facebook pages. This brought about possible privacy issues, including preferential recruitment practices. The decision of requesting passwords from the recruits is still an ethical matter rather than a legal matter.
The use of technology leads to violation of the privacy of people in the whole community. As a matter of fact, people in the society are the customers and clients of a particular business. In case of any unethical behavior, they are affected either directly or indirectly. For example, a company may track use of the internet, buying habits of customers. The business owners may also collect personal information about millions of customers or even potential clients. It is morally wrong because the company indicates that it wants to gain control over the clients and customers personal lives.
Piracy in business
Among the massive effects of scientific advancements on business, ethics was experienced with the upcoming of peer-to-peer file sharing. Suddenly, individuals had means to get the software without paying, and originally the law was unable to stop the use of the software. The laws against piracy were put in place, but still, there are business owners who are looking for ways to reduce operational costs. They cannot stop to use the software thus becoming an ethical struggle. The software has conditions for agreement in providing services, therefore, users are expected to abide by the terms, and businesses that are ethical must strictly observe the terms. For example, an online service may demand that only one employee at a particular company has a way into an online favor otherwise some more licenses should be purchased (Richard, 2008). But this rarely happens as business gives more employees access to the online services so as to make profits and outdo their competitors. It is morally wrong because the business owners are supposed to adhere to the conditions of the service providers.
Due to modern developments in technology, there was a tool that was made called corporate espionage. The tool has previously been used to try and acquire discernment in the strategic plans, the successes, research, and failures of competing businesses. Historically, it usually included one-on-one communication, visible spying, or giving bribes. Modern scientific advancements have largely broadened the ability for corporate espionage, and moral business owners need to take great actions to make sure that their workers are not participating in such scheme. For each recent communications technology that comes out, there should be means of stopping that information. Corporate espionage is one of a few examples of how new quality for ethics in business activities needs to be in a continuous form of progress. Activities which result in the same benefits as corporate espionage to a company are also more possible with technology development. For instance, a company may decide to have one employee to move from one site to another in all the public social media accounts and profiles of another company which they consider a competitor. In case the competing company have errors or made any mistakes, they reveal such information to the public so as to bring the competitors down by using information that could have been kept private. This behavior is morally wrong as it will negatively impact the particular company.
Technology has made it possible for business managers to scrutinize the ethical practices of their workers. Other companies include a section on employment agreement of the managers that gives them the power to supervise the electronic undertakings of their staff. However, this again exposes the concern of privacy and a question of how much of the privacy workers deserve. It is definitely morally right for managers to take measures of preventing unlawful or unethical undertakings of their staffs, but technological developments frequently complicate the matter on how that type of surveillance can be put in place and reinforced. As new technology advances, it creates both ways on how to perpetrate, supervise or prevent the ethical violations.
Electronic technology in these digital eras has created availability of the Internet connections which permits workers to own private social media accounts like emails which enables them to communicate to relatives in a number of ways. As a result, business owners and managers increase supervising of staff exchange of information during hours of work in an attempt to sustain employee's focus on their duties. A moral puzzle emerges from employers' ability to access personal worker's data and highly regarding their privacy entitlement. There are numerous courts in various countries which regularly protect employer's monitoring privilege, but other agencies have ruled that the business owners may be going against employee's privacy rights in viewing personal communication.
While internet enables users to interact with clients who are far from there geographical areas, it has also destroyed the trust and special relationship that previously existed from one on one meeting and conversations through the telephone. This has affected office interactions in a business zone because workers are often more minded to chat electronically rather than physically walk to a canteen or congregate in a cubicle to discuss the business matters.
Working from Anywhere
Availability of portable computers and laptops and digital mobile phones with the ability word processing and email make people work from any place so long as there is an internet connection. The behavior of moving the workplace to another location also impact the ethics associated with the normal working hours. Since technology enables a business owner to access her employees and request work at all times of the day, it does not mean that it is the ethical thing to do. Transforming a day of work into almost a twenty-four hour affair violates the moral boundaries in regard to employee compensation -especially for those employees who receive their payment on ever working minute or hour. It is unethical because the employer turns his/her employees into machines rather than human beings.
Businesses usually advertise their products to their customers thanks to the technological development. Availability of both and print media has made it possible for business owners to reach a wide range of consumers. The type of advertisement that a company may choose to use will have an impact on the community and society at large. Some companies use explicit content to advertise commodities like body lotions, underwear, and even condoms. For example, when advertising for underwear some companies use models who pose naked on televisions screens or in magazines. In as much as they are pushing for sales, this might have an impact on morals, especially to young children watching the television with their parents. It is lack of ethical consciousness just a business aims to make profits. The government should put in place rules to govern such kind of advertisements. Without regulations, some of the content may be offensive to the members of the public.
In conclusion, the rate at which technology is advancing has an important influence on how we carry out our businesses currently. The individuals, corporates, community, and society should respond to the constant state of transformation so that they may endure competitiveness. Among the essential feature to the handling of technological transformation is embracing the ethics of controlling the technology usage. The businesses must put in place the policies to ensure there is regulation of how their resources are to be used and in case there is a misuse then consequences will follow. Businesses must state clearly what information is supposed to be private and the one that is supposed to be public in the business organization. It should also inform the employees if they are to be monitored through any of a variety of means.
Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.
De George, R. T. (2008). The ethics of information technology and business. John Wiley & Sons.
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