Issue 010: Business Intelligence Meets Moral Intelligence

February 2009


The inspiration for this special issue began at a conference held in Stuttgart, Germany in December 2007, in which representatives of business and academia, among them experts on business ethics, economists as well as business data processing specialists, discussed the points of convergence between Business and Moral Intelligence. At this conference it became increasingly clear that the tension between Business and Moral Intelligence – though of increasing economical, political and social importance – still lacks a thorough scientific investigation.

In addition, in our discussion it became apparent that Business Intelligence was defined in terms of an intelligence agency for corporations, alluding to the gathering of „secret? or „insider-information? about the competitors. Moreover, this definition also spans strategies, processes and technologies used in order to achieve significant knowledge of the status, potential and perspectives of any given business.

However, as this issue shows, there is a broader understanding of Business Intelligence that goes beyond the definition shared above. It ranges from technical applications for supporting management decisions, to the quest of information about the actual and potential customers, to designing products that prevent data abuse and to ethical aspects of IT in general. Furthermore, Business Intelligence can be understood as a way a company runs its business in an intelligent manner, which would be rather Intelligent Business than Business Intelligence.

Yours,

the Editors.


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Vol. 10 (full journal)
edited by Yvonne Thorhauer, Stefan Blachfellner
pdf-fulltext (801 KB)
Content
Introduction to IRIE Vol. 10
by Yvonne Thorhauer, Stefan Blachfellner
Language: English
abstract: The inspiration for this special issue began at a conference held in Stuttgart, Germany in December 2007, in which representatives of business and academia, among them experts on business ethics, economists as well as business data processing specialists, discussed the points of convergence between Business and Moral Intelligence. At this conference it became increasingly clear that the tension between Business and Moral Intelligence – though of increasing economical, political and social importance – still lacks a thorough scientific investigation.
The simulated traces of action – B.I. and reflection through technology
by Albrecht Fritzsche
Language: English
abstract: Business Intelligence can be interpreted as a compensation for the growing complexity of technical support in economic transactions. With the help of sophisticated calculation and analysis tools, the business situation is simplified for the user in order to enable reasonable decisions. However, the simplicity of Business Intelligence is only simulated by hiding the system operations under the surface. This causes a disruption of the general concept of reasonable action. The notion of responsibility disappears between the business expert and the systems engineer. A possible solution to this problem is to change the system design process and to introduce competing technology which could show new traces of the system operation.
Business Intelligence and Ambient Intelligence – Some thoughts on the main trends of business information processing, their opportunities, problems and limitations.
by Oliver Siemoneit
Language: German
abstract: Ambient Intelligence, often also referred to as Pervasive Computing, Ubiquitous Computing or Context-Aware Computing, is supposed to have a lot of advantages for future business information processing. However, as in many cases, technological developments do not only provide opportunities, improve work conditions and make life more comfort for customers, but they also give rise to new problems. Aim of this paper is to discuss the pros and cons of Ambient Intelligence for future business intelligence on the basis of two scenarios. The first scenario deals with next generation manufacturing, the so-called smart factory. The second scenario is about different concepts of actuarial fairness based on Ambient Intelligence technology in the insurance industry, mainly different pay-as-you-drive-solutions. The infringement upon privacy is identified as main problem in both scenarios. Besides an in-depth discussion on this which opens up a much broader view on Ambient Intelligence in future business intelligence, different technical solutions are to be roughly outlined that could help to avoid some crucial problems.
Should corporate management include a Computer Forensics and Incident Response capability into realigned Information Security Principles?
by Paul Wright
Language: English
abstract: IT enabled abuse and data compromise is a major problem to senior management and organisations as a whole. It has no boundaries, and globally undermines electronic commerce whilst being facilitated by the rapid development of the Internet, computer and information technology. The prevention, reporting, detection and our ability to investigate is of overriding importance to a range of institutions and establishments. Currently the full extent of the problem is not known and at present cannot be scoped; however there is substantial evidence that shows it to be on the increase. Despite historical reports such as the Council of Europe report on Cyber crime (2001)17 that indicated there would be an increase in criminal offences that exploit the opportunities presented by the globalisation of computer networks.
A Comparative View of Business Ethics and Governance in the U.S. and Continental Europe
by Roland Bardy and Arthur Rubens
Language: English
abstract: The paper contrasts the economic, ethical, and organizational differences in the U.S. and Europe, as well as the differences in governance and leadership between U.S. and European managers, and how these differences impact decision-making and governance of U.S. and European businesses. In addition, the paper explores and contrasts select ethical and cultural issues between managers on both sides of the Atlantic. It is the authors‘ view that on both sides of the Atlantic we embrace the call for more ethics in our lives and we expect it from our business leaders and our business dealings. However, in the markets we consistently have seen a short-term orientation of corporate outcomes. It is hoped that there will be a silver lining to the current economic crisis that will help move us away from this position which makes things like ethics, long-term virtues, fairness, all nice to talk about but somewhat estranged from the realities that are practiced in businesses. It remains to be seen if U.S. organizations, business schools and business leaders will change this current position more rapidly than in Europe. The authors are confident, however, that businesses and governments on both sides of the Atlantic will make all efforts for a pronounced transition to integrate ethics into the real strategic thrusts of conducting business.
Values and Pragmatic Action: The Challenges of Introducing Ethical Intelligence in Technical Design Communities
by Noëmi Manders-Huits and Michael Zimmer
Language: English
abstract: Various Value-Conscious Design frameworks have recently emerged to introduce moral and ethical intelligence into business and technical design contexts, with the goal of proactively influencing the design of technologies to account for moral and ethical values during the conception and design process. Two attempts to insert ethical intelligence into technical design communities to influence the design of technologies in ethical- and value-conscious ways are described, revealing discouraging results. Learning from these failed attempts, the article identifies three key challenges of pragmatic engagement with technical design communities: (1) confronting competing values; (2) identifying the role of the values advocate; and (3) the justification of a value framework. Addressing these challenges must become a priority if one is to be successful in pragmatically engaging with real-world business and design contexts to bring moral and ethical intelligence to bear in the design of emerging information and communication technologies.

 

The Epistemology and Ethics of Media Markets in the Age of Information
by Edward Howlett Spence
Language: English
abstract: The paper will seek to demonstrate that information as communication has a dual inherent normative structure that commits its disseminators, especially the media, offline and online, to epistemological and ethical principles that are universally mandatory. With regard to the dissemination of information by the media, its business intelligence constituted by its commercial interests as a media market must always be congruent with moral intelligence on the basis of the epistemological and ethical universal principles that the dual normative structure of information gives rise and to which the media itself is committed. When the media?s business intelligence comes into conflict with moral intelligence, the latter must always take precedent over the former. Moreover, the communication of information to the public by the media, offline and online, even if conceived merely as another market commodity, commits the media to ethical conduct regardless of any other commercial interests that may come into conflict with the media?s ethical commitments to the public.

 

Last Update: 01/02/06

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