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CONCEPTUALISING ETHICS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS: A GROUNDED THEORY OF SOCIAL MEDIA DEVELOPMENT

By Sharon L Geeling and Irwin Brown

Abstract

Social information systems, like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have become an integral part of social life attracting billions of people and continuing to proliferate. While these systems are developed for specific purposes they can also contain embedded capability that allows their use in ways that compromise societal wellbeing. We approach this problem from the perspective of information systems (IS) development with the view that IS development paradigms incorporating moral and ethical considerations offer a proactive means of addressing this issue. Using the grounded theory method (GTM) this research in progress seeks to develop an explanatory theory behind the actions of IS developers in the creation of social information systems. In this manuscript we explore the utility of the affordance concept to illustrate the feasibility of proactively curbing the future unethical use of social information systems during their development. Then, after elaborating how variations of GTM shape the research contribution, the form of GTM to be used in the research is described. The research will contribute to moving IS practice towards a moral epistemology and inform IS development policy making bodies and broader society of the ethical obligations of those involved in IS development

Topics: Social Information Systems, Ethics, Grounded Theory, IS Development
Publisher: AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Year: 2020
OAI identifier: oai:aisel.aisnet.org:ecis2020_rip-1004
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