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Title: Network ethics and government to business relationships in Portugal
Author: Gonçalo Paiva Dias
André Azevedo Alves
José Manuel Moreira
Keywords: network ethics
public administration
Issue Date: Jun-2009
Abstract: The analysis of ethical issues in Internet-enabled marketplaces remains generally under-explored and this gap is even more prominent in practices associated with G2B networks. This paper argues that the application of Network Ethics to G2B relationships requires a focus on specific questions that arise from the evolution of the way government has come to interact with business. To this purpose, the paper starts by outlining the relevance of universal values to Network Ethics. The next section draws out and briefly discusses the most relevant ethical issues that arise in the rapidly changing context of G2B relationships. To provide an application and substantiate the claims of the paper, the development of public e-procurement in Portugal is presented and analysed in the scope of the background public policies for information society and e-government development in Portugal. It is shown that use of the Internet for e-procurement purposes is growing in Portugal and the main constraints and risks associated with further developments are laid out and discussed. Overall the theoretical analysis and the empirical case point to the growing importance of developing interoperability standards and promoting greater transparency and competition in public e-procurement. It is further argued that reliable analysis in terms of Internet-enabled marketplaces requires both a solid ethical framework and its application in conjunction with empirical knowledge of the situations being studied, and that only in this way can network ethics effectively contribute to the promotion of greater accountability and ethical behaviour on the ground.
Peer review: yes
Appears in Collections:ESTGA - Comunicações

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