Technoethics & Risk Management: Embracing The Web In The Workplace   no comments

Posted at 2:33 pm in Uncategorized

For some time I have been very interested in how people use the Web at work and the discussions surrounding this practice at different levels in the organisation. Over the years many have talked, written and passionately lobbied about the many issues that have emerged. I also joined this discussion and tried to present a balanced argument for the Web in the workplace, even if only for personal use. Yet, there still seems to be some confusion about how to best manage Web usage in organisations.

Taming the Web in the Caribbean Workplace

In the Caribbean, there is a predominantly negative perception of Web usage at work, especially among the management of large established organisations. There is a very real fear that Web usage in the workplace makes the organisation vulnerable to taking legal liability for related unlawful activities, security breaches, bandwidth drain and productivity losses. As a result, many organisations in the region have adopted an approach where they rather be safe than sorry. Unfortunately, based on my experience, measures used to manage risk are then usually excessive and outweigh the amount of risk posed.

Organisations have attempted to manage employee Web usage utilising several methods. Sometimes blocking and or requiring written permission to access certain sites and services, using monitoring software to enforce strict policies and providing training to employees on ‘proper’ Web usage in the workplace. However, barriers to unrestricted access are quickly being removed with the introduction of affordable 4G mobile Internet access and very strong adoption of smart phones (e.g., iPhone and Blackberry) by employees in the region. Unsurprisingly, this has prompted some organisations to respond by taking an even tougher approach to managing Web usage in the workplace on any device.

My Lens: Finding Responsible Ways to Embrace the Web in the Workplace

The above scenario, though somewhat extreme, does not only exist in the Caribbean region but is also likely to be present in organisations all over the world in varying forms. Given this, I have chosen to explore the disciplines of technoethics and risk management and their inherent approaches to the current issue. There is also hope to discover new ways organisations can go about creating effective strategies to encourage employees to use the Web at work in more responsible ways that does not put the organisation, themselves and the Web at risk.


This & Last Week’s Plan

  1. Identify the simplest books to read that will give an easy to understand introduction to the disciplines you picked.
  2. Make notes on books read.
  3. Even if it is the last thing you do, prepare a blog post that gives an overview of what you want to work on by Monday.
  4. Publish a blog post that introduces technoethics.
  5. Publish a blog post that introduces risk management.
  6. Outline a reading plan for moving forward.

Current Readings

  • Ethics: A Very Short Introduction – Simon Blackburn
  • Handbook of Research on Technoethics – Rocci Luppicini & Rebecca Adell
  • Risk: A Very Short Introduction – Baruch Fischhoff
  • Fundamentals of Risk Management Understanding, Evaluating and Implementing Effective Risk Management – Paul Hopkin

Written by Renaldo Bernard on October 22nd, 2012

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