The Decision Disconnect

  • Cecilia Marie Ridgley Redline Consulting
Keywords: information systems, information technology, ethics, value systems, decision science


If the practice of ethics amongst the members of an enterprise and their ideal identity conflict with those of the governing membership in structure, assumptions, dynamic or learning, then we have a decision disconnect that will constrain the success of that enterprise: a governance issue. Understanding the pervasive role of ethics in leading ICT in the enterprise is vital for effective practice of enterprise ICT governance. Hitherto there has been comparatively little critical attention paid to the problem of understanding how the value systems that shape decision-making comprehensively impact the appropriate practice of governance and management in ICT. In this paper, I argue that the value systems at play within the enterprise are central and intrinsic drivers for shaping control and influence. I conclude with a framework for making sense of the complex relationship between ethics, governance and the enterprise, to assist the practitioner in focusing on those planning factors that may be moderated for effective governance. I draw on the findings from the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics’ (in partnership with the Australian Computer Society) examination of ethics and regulation in the ICT industry (Lucas and Weckert, 2008) to highlight the particular problem of ethics and governance of ICT people. This paper is significant as the unambiguous establishment of the criticality of value systems in the practice of governance in the enterprise, and particularly the ICT enterprise. The proposed framework provides a systems-thinking basis for practitioners to explicitly plan and design for the dynamic interrelationship of values, people, process, and purpose in enterprise governance. The framework advocates recognition, planning and design for requisite diversity for all system components.

Author Biography

Cecilia Marie Ridgley, Redline Consulting
Principal, Redline Consulting PhD Candidate, [email protected], School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering
How to Cite
Ridgley, C. M. (2009). The Decision Disconnect. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 16(1).
Research on IS Governance