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In Search of Instruments: Business and Ethics Halfway

Business ethics has gradually acquired a stable status, both as an academic discipline and as a practice. Stakeholdership is recognized as a guiding concept, the business has widely accepted that it has a license to operate to win from society at large, and operational instruments such as codes of ethics and forms of ethical auditing and accounting take shape more and more. Yet lacunae remain. Three are mentioned explicitly. Business ethics has to improve its relations with business law, the concept of competition deserves much more ethical attention than it has received up to now, and the shifting relations between the market, governmental agencies, and civil society require the elaboration of institutional business ethics.

Shareholder value orientation has been introduced as a means to improve the performance of the corporation. The discussion investigates the theoretical justification for the claim that increasing shareholder value is the purpose of corporate governance. It demonstrates that shareholder value is the control principle, not the purpose of the firm. The idea that shareholder value is the only goal of the corporation is a mistaken transfer from the financial to the industrial firm. We also question that the merger of manager interests and owner interests introduced by the remuneration of managers by stock options improves the management performance. The self-apportioning of stock options by the management is in danger of becoming a form of insider trading.

Beyond “Evidence-Based” Policymaking

We are now entering the era of big data, and the increased availability and ubiquity of data could lead us to anticipate a promising future for “evidence-based” policymaking. However, in the real world, things do not always function so predictably. This intriguing concept has already received considerable criticism from various perspectives. we would like to revisit this important issue pointing in a direction that proceeds beyond the “evidence-based” policymaking. We emphasize that the geometrization of data, considering the multifaceted nature of data, is important to achieve genuine evidence-based policymaking.

Currently, virtually every organization is using business information systems integrating information technology, business processes, and people. With the advent of new technologies and new business opportunities that arise (e.g. electronic markets), designing and developing information systems that would be in line with the long-term strategy of companies and that would efficiently support their core business processes, becomes even more complex and difficult task. In addition, business information systems in modern companies need to evolve and adapt to changes occurring both inside as well as outside an organization. Therefore, a broad range of issues such as new business requirements (including societal and legal aspects), new market mechanisms and business models, as well as new paradigms and system architectures, need to be considered.

It all focuses particularly on fostering the exchange on theoretical and practical aspects of the company design and development, implementation, and application of business information systems, based on innovative concepts. It may establish a unique platform for design science-oriented research and the technology and economically oriented scientific community, trying to bridge the gap between theoretical foundations and real-world requirements.

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