The Transformative Nature of E-Business: Business Ethics and Stakeholder Relations on the Internet

The Transformative Nature of E-Business: Business Ethics and Stakeholder Relations on the Internet

Daniel E. Palmer (Kent State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-615-5.ch001

Abstract

The growth of various forms of e-business, from Internet sales and marketing to online financial processing, has been exponential in recent years. It is no exaggeration to say that nearly all forms of business involve elements of e-business today. Internet technologies provide businesses with the potential to more effectively research, market and distribute products and services, to more efficiently manage operations, and to better facilitate the processing of business transactions. However, e-business activities can raise ethical issues, as the new forms of technology and business practices utilized in e-business have the potential to pose significant moral risk as well. As such, both scholars and business persons have a responsibility to be aware of the ethical implications of e-business and to endeavor to promote ethically appropriate forms of e-business. The aim of this chapter is to aid in those enterprises by mapping out some of the major ethical issues connected to e-business. In doing so, this chapter seeks both to serve as a general introduction to this volume and to provide a conceptual framework for understanding and responding to many of the ethical issues found in e-business.
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Background

The growth of e-business has been consistent and vigorous over the last few decades, to the point that e-business is an intrinsic element of most business operations. Numerous statistics attest to the phenomenal growth in e-business in recent years. For instance, data on e-business shows that:

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