A Study on the Relevance between the Progress of IT and Business Ethics in Typical Japanese Organizations

Sho Hanaoka
InSITE 2003  •  Volume 3  •  2003
Each lower-level organization within in most Japanese companies has its own implicit code of conduct based on its own organizational culture. The structure of the ordinary Japanese organization is expressible as a closed space surrounded by higher walls on all four sides. Also the walls are expressible as roll-away fences, changing their positions by adapting to the changes in the environment. The position of each wall becomes more indefinite by adapting to new business models such as SCM, ERP, ASP, etc. As a consequence, some of these walls become to invisible from time to time, and most companies are confronted with unconformity and confusion between the organizations in doing business. Moreover, the progress of internationalization adds momentum to the confusion. In this paper, first, the author elucidates the peculiar characteristics of the Japanese organization's culture and problems it poses in bus iness ethics. Then, the issue of using IT on business ethics is discussed. Finally, a "wall-in model" expressing the gaps of the adjacent organizations is proposed. Then we discuss the effective use of IT for solving the problems of business ethics.
business ethics, information ethics, organizational culture, virtual organizations, Japanese organizations, utilizing IT
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