Big data, little wisdom: Trouble brewing? Ethical implications for the information systems discipline
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AbstractHow can wisdom and its inherent drive for integration help information systems in the development of practices for responsibly and ethically managing big data, ubiquitous information, and algorithmic knowledge— particularly in their collection, integration, analysis, presentation, and use—and so make the world a better place? We use the recent financial crises to illustrate the perils of an overreliance on and misuse of data, information, and predictive knowledge when global IS are not wisely integrated. Our analysis shows that the global financial crisis was in part caused by a serious lack of integration of information with the larger context of social, cultural, economic, and political dynamics. Integration of all the variables in a global and information hungry industry is exceptionally difficult, and so ‘exceptionality’ of some kind is needed to make sufficient integration happen. Wisdom, we suggest, is the exceptionality needed to lead successful integration. We expect that a wisdom-based shift can lead to more organisationally effective and socially responsible IS.