A deontological approach to designing ethical collaboration

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A core focus of Collaboration Engineering (CE) research has been to design and deploy codified fundamental building blocks (artifacts) of collaboration, thus making it possible for practitioner groups to collaborate even without the help of a professional facilitator. Given the fundamentally social nature of collaboration, we believe that designing such fundamental blocks (artifacts) needs to include considerations of participants' ethical values. As such, we propose a conceptual schema for a fundamental artifact having ethical features derived from the deontological view of ethics. Based on the notions of design theory, valuesensitive design, and deontological ethics, this paper develops an object-oriented representation of an Ethical Collaboration class that can be instantiated into objects that, in turn, can serve as fundamental building blocks for ethical collaboration. Contributions and future implications of such a conceptualization are also discussed. © 2009, by the Association for Information Systems.

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