Social Responsibility in IS/IT Project Management

Social Responsibility in IS/IT Project Management

Joseph T. Gilbert
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-11-2.ch015
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Project managers obviously have a responsibility to manage their projects. In this chapter we explore the question of social responsibility of project managers. We take it as given for purposes of this chapter that the project involves information systems and/or information technology. Social responsibility implies something beyond technical responsibility (the project, when completed, is technically efficient and reliable and meets the project specifications). In this chapter we will use the stakeholder approach, which is common in discussions of business ethics and the role of business in society (Donaldson & Preston, 1995; Evan & Freeman, 1983) to identify various groups to which project managers have social responsibility. We will discuss the difference between legal responsibility and moral or ethical responsibility. We will use a rights and duties approach to apply principles from business ethics to the problem of identifying project manager responsibilities. After this general discussion, we will identify five specific groups to whom IS/IT project managers have responsibilities. For each group, we will identify the project manager role or roles which connect to the rights of the group and discuss the duties which those rights impose on project managers. In concluding the chapter, we will briefly consider how the duties or responsibilities of project managers can be viewed in a positive light as opportunities which most employees and many managers do not have.

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