Ethical Issues in eBusiness: A Proposal for Creating the eBusiness Principles
A. GRAHAM PEACE, JAMES WEBER, KATHLEEN S. HARTZEL, AND JENNIFER NIGHTINGALE
Business and Society Review
eBusiness seems to be the topic of conversation, wherever a businessperson turns today. Retailers small and large are creating web sites, and business-to-business ecommerce is expanding exponentially. In the ebusiness paradigm, employees regularly telecommute, cell phones are pervasive, and email is the preferred method of communication. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are revolutionizing the internal operations of the corporation, while customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM) applications are integrating partnerships with environmental entities. eBusiness success sto- ries are touted in newspapers and airplane magazines, and Amazon.com is as well known as companies ten times as old. Despite some much publicized bumps in the road, the information age has arrived. However, there are long-term ethical and social implications of these business trends that may be overlooked, as they do not fit into the profit picture. In addition, ethical principles needed as guides in conducting ebusiness are lacking. This article identifies possible ethical and social impacts of ebusiness on in- dividuals, and organizations, and on the societies in which they operate, and offers a list of ethical principles to guide ebusiness operations.