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Slow tech: bridging computer ethics and business ethics Norberto Patrignani Politecnico of Torino, Torino, Italy, and Diane Whitehouse The Castlegate Consultancy, Malton, UK Abstract Purpose This discussion paper focuses on a notion of information and communication technology (ICT) that is good, clean and fair that the authors call Slow Tech. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the Slow Tech approach in order to explain how to create a suitable bridge between business ethics and computer ethics. Design/methodology/approach The paper s approach is discursive. It provides a viewpoint. Its arguments are based in an examination of literature relevant to both business ethics and computer ethics. Justification is produced for the use of Slow Tech approach. A number of potential future research and application issues still to be investigated are also provided. Findings Slow Tech can be proposed, and used, as a bridging mechanism between companies strategies regarding computer ethics and business ethics. Three case studies illustrate the kind of challenges that companies have to tackle when trying to implement Slow Tech in concrete business context. Further study need to be undertaken to make progress on Slow Tech in applied, corporate settings. Practical implications ICT companies need to look for innovative, new approaches to producing, selling and recycling their services and products. A Slow Tech approach can provide such insights. Social implications Today s challenges to the production and use of good, clean, and fair ICT, both conceptual and concrete, can act as incentives for action: they can further applied research or encourage social activism. Encouraging the study, and the application, of Slow Tech provides a first step in the potential improvement of a society in which information technology is totally embedded. Originality/value The value of this paper in not only for academics and researchers, but also for practitioners: especially for personnel working in ICT companies and for those involved with designing, developing and applying codes of conduct at both European and globally. Keywords IT policy, Case study, Business case, Global IT management Paper type Viewpoint 1. Introduction Around the world, both small businesses and large corporations are facing challenges in acting responsibly when producing goods and services that serve society, the economy and environment. In order to cope with these challenges, many companies are preparing corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies. Among examples of such companies are those involved in the information and communication technology (ICT) market (called here either ICT companies or ICT firms). These companies can be described as the main providers of the technologies that are shaping society, and are likely both today and in the future to have significant social and environmental impacts.
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