Ethical information systems development: A baumanian postmodernist perspective

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The paper offers a critique of traditional methodical approaches to Information Systems Development (ISD), arguing that a number of assumptions (for example, universality and rationality) underlying these approaches lead to incomplete ontological and epistemological considerations, and thereby contribute to IS failures in many cases. The paper proposes that ethical analysis undertaken in conjunction with traditional ISD approaches may be a way to address some of the limitations experienced during traditional ISD. Drawing upon ideas from postmodern ethics formulated by Zygmunt Bauman, the paper argues that increased focus on the moral responsibility of key ISD players (such as the team of analysts) may improve the ISD process. Finally, this paper suggests how, consistent with the postmodern stance, such moral responsibility can be implemented in the context of ISD. The paper concludes with the contributions and future implications of this research. © 2009, by the Association for Information Systems.

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