Good and Evil in the Garden of Emerging Information Technologies

Good and Evil in the Garden of Emerging Information Technologies

Kenneth E. Kendall (Rutgers University, USA) and Julie E. Kendall (Rutgers University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-100-3.ch803


This chapter explores the social, organizational, and individual impacts of emerging information technologies using the advent of recent technologies including push and pull technologies; DSS dashboards for decision makers complete with widgets and gadgets; and mashups that join together preprogrammed Web-based applications in new ways as examples to explore the question of good and evil as it applies to technology. The design, purchase, and use of emerging information technologies offers a double-edged sword; in that they can be deliberately designed and used for either good or evil purposes, however sometimes their use provokes unintended consequences. While many emerging technologies purport to improve the lives of workers, the quality of their work, and the overall productiveness of society, there are other consequences that belie grimmer, multifaceted impacts that can create malevolent outcomes or even disastrous consequences for their users. Our practical contribution is to formulate a series of questions to assist designers, users, and managers who purchase IT in considering the helpful or harmful consequences of emerging technology design decisions.

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