Developing critical awareness in information systems practice: A Foucaultvian view

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The aim of this paper is to provide insights into how information (IS) practitioners can develop further their awareness on ethical issues. In the context of the paper, awareness means able to identify and deal with issues of ethics in activities of information systems planning, development and use. The paper begins by presenting two areas which IS practitioners can initially explore to develop their ethical awareness. These areas are: (1) IS Methodologies and (2) Codes. The first area emphasises ethical awareness by using methodologies. The second element aims to encourage ethical awareness by following principles. In both areas, self-reflection is identified as a key element for awareness. Using Foucault’s ideas on power and ethics, a critical understanding of ethical awareness based on self-reflection is presented to complement ethical awareness developments. This understanding is defined in terms of two elements of inquiry: (a) Power relations analysis and (b) ways of being ethical. With these two elements, the paper argues that IS practitioners can exert their critical thinking and create their own ethics, while still following IS methodologies and codes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
Journal Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society (ICES)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Information systems
  • Power

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