It seems that the Web and its rapidly evolving technologies and applications, such as social media, are only growing in their importance to businesses and becoming more prominent in the success or failure of businesses in the future. Many business practices, such as monitoring employees' computer and personal e-mail are creating major privacy and employment concerns. These practices give rise to ethical questions related to their enforcement and the resultant effect on employees. However, the most controversial practice amongst employers is the censoring of an employee outside of work through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Social networking is one of the newest information technologies that have been thrust into the spotlight, leaving most major corporations to be reactive rather than proactive. There have been numerous news reports of employees being fired, or having lost a job opportunity because of postings on a social networking site. In this paper, we discuss business ethics as it relates to, and is affected by, social networks. Furthermore, we discuss who is responsible for shedding the light on this issue and developing a road map for delineating what is ethical, and what is not when it comes to business practices as they use social media. In addition, we propose two methods for advancing the systematic development of business ethics as it relates to the adoption, deployment, and use of social media in today’s businesses.
|Keywords:||Social Media, Business Ethics, Facebook, Twitter|
Professor, Department of Computer Information Systems, College of Business, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA