Business Ethics and Social Media

By Badie Farah.

Published by The International Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

The International Journal of Civic, Political, and Community Studies, Volume 10, Issue 3, 2012, pp.1-8. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 277.487KB).

Prof. Badie Farah

Professor, Department of Computer Information Systems, College of Business, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA

Badie Farah is a professor of computer information systems at the College of Business, Eastern Michigan University. Prior to joining Eastern Michigan University, he was a member of the faculty at Oakland University and a senior staff analyst at General Motors Corporation. He received his Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering from Ohio State University. His research on data communications, information systems development, e-commerce, and computer-assisted manufacturing has been published in the Journals of Computer Information Systems, Education for Information, Information and Management, Intelligent and Robotic Systems, and Education for Business. He authored two text books, co-authored a third, and also authored chapters in several books. As a consultant to private and public organizations and businesses, he focuses on analysis, development, implementation, and performance of information systems. His clients have included Columbia Gas Services, Ohio State University, and the American Broadcasting Corporation.