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Understanding Moral Risks of New Technology in Business

Understanding Moral Risks of New Technology in Business

As new technology infiltrates a community, it changes how people behave and respond to each other. In the business world, technology has and continues to alter how employers and employees influence the entire globe. Corporate entities have, in fact, used technology to make themselves far more influential than many governments, especially in the wake of globalization. With this newfound power, which firms may not fully recognize or be able to cope with, comes the need to understand what and how moral issues influence the decisions both employers and their employees make on a daily basis.

When personal computers and email took over the business world, employers were able to communicate so quickly that management decisions could be dispatched almost instantaneously. Coupled with the ability to minimize human input and to abruptly adapt operations through the use of sophisticated technology, improved modes of communication have transformed business operations from a more intimate, localized affair to a bureaucratic, global operation. As a consequence, the responsiveness of modern business infrastructure distances management from those impacted by their decisions and makes them less responsive to moral issues.

Obviously, the greater capacity and ease, which technology allows all employees to access and manipulate potentially sensitive company property, create more opportunities for the improper behavior of employees to undermine their firms. Unethical behavior is an issue for all employers and their industries; however, the moral risk associated with this power is even greater for mankind. While ethics involve considering the interests of others to help ensure your interests are satisfied, morals are an effort to aspire to an ideal in order to improve all of society. Because of globalization, technology both impacts the professional conduct, i.e. ethics, of individuals and their moral behavior as human beings.

The distance created by technology between executives and workers, as well as firms and the communities of the world, creates greater moral risk. In tandem, the efficiency and flexible nature of technology limits the human component in business while the speed of technology allows decisions to be made so quickly it is difficult for the decision makers to consider their impact on communities and individuals. This leads to damaging consequences for faceless people, especially those workers in third world industries. Consequently, the objectification of humans is the moral risk associated with technology in the business world.

While the most distinct, dramatic moral issues in business come from the executive world, all employees now face far more moral quandaries. Because the use of technology distances individuals from humanity, employees are encouraged to make decisions without considering the harm it does to real people across the globe. As new technology further improves communication methods and replaces human workers, the moral risk will grow. Yes, unethical violations like corporate theft are more likely due to the impact of technology, yet the moral risk in business from technology is the objectification of people which justifies employee abuse and practices that impoverish or destroy entire communities.