The Theory of Responsibility and Information Systems

The Theory of Responsibility and Information Systems

Bernd Carsten Stahl (De Montford University, UK)
Copyright: © 2004 |Pages: 73
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-172-8.ch004
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Abstract

In the broadest possible sense, responsibility is “but a set of practices that we use to describe and understand individual and social behaviour” (French, 1992, p. IX). In order to understand how we can use the term as a description and what results from the description, one must be aware of possible definitions, implications, dimensions, conditions, etc. In this chapter we will therefore attempt to describe all these different features of the word. In a first step we will look at the overall definitions that can be found in the literature and the implied objectives of its use. This part will also contain a first reflection on how responsibility relates to ethics and morality. The next part of this chapter will analyse the conditions that are commonly named for the ascription of responsibility. This will then allow us to discuss the classical dimensions, namely subject, object, and instance. From there we will proceed to take a look at the other relevant determinants of responsibility such as type, temporal dimension, sort of imputation, and the limits of ascription. As a summary we will extract the implications that most sorts and definitions of responsibility share. In total this chapter will lay the theoretical groundwork needed for addressing the problems that responsibility in information systems pose, which will then be discussed in the following chapters.

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Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Chapter 1
Bernd Carsten Stahl
This first content chapter of the book is meant to clarify the notions involved in the responsible management of information systems. The focus of... Sample PDF
Information Systems and Business Information Technology
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Chapter 2
Ethics and Morality  (pages 9-25)
Bernd Carsten Stahl
Academic texts have to conform to certain standards, and one of these is to define the concepts they use. Texts dealing with ethics or morality... Sample PDF
Ethics and Morality
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Chapter 3
Bernd Carsten Stahl
In this chapter we want to show why it makes sense to use the concept of responsibility with respect to the business use of information technology.... Sample PDF
Why Responsibility and Information Systems?
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Chapter 4
Bernd Carsten Stahl
In the broadest possible sense, responsibility is “but a set of practices that we use to describe and understand individual and social behaviour”... Sample PDF
The Theory of Responsibility and Information Systems
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Chapter 5
Reflective Responsibility  (pages 117-151)
Bernd Carsten Stahl
What is “reflective responsibility”? The idea behind it is to see whether the concept as discussed so far is applicable to itself and what... Sample PDF
Reflective Responsibility
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Chapter 6
Bernd Carsten Stahl
Before we start analysing the details of how reflective responsibility impacts on the use of information technology, we should briefly recapitulate... Sample PDF
Reflective Responsibility and the Management of Information Systems
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