Corporate Digital Responsibility at the Dawn of the Digital Service Revolution

59 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2021

See all articles by Jochen Wirtz

Jochen Wirtz

National University of Singapore

Nicole Hartley

University of Queensland

Werner H. Kunz

University of Massachusetts

James Tarbit

University of Queensland

Jamie Ford

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: March 17, 2021

Abstract

Digitization, artificial intelligence (AI), and service robots will revolutionize virtually all service industries and have the potential to bring unprecedented improvements in customer experience, service quality, and productivity. However, these technological advances also carry serious ethical, fairness, and privacy risks. To explore these risks, this article builds on recent work on corporate digital responsibility (CDR). First, it uses a life-cycle stage perspective of data and technologies (i.e., their creation, operation, refinement, and retainment) as an organizing frame to better understand these risks. Second, to provide insights on where these risks originate, it examines an organization’s business model and its flows of money, service, data, insights, and technologies with customers at the front-end and the business partner ecosystem at the back-end. Third, this article identifies why CDR issues occur. It shows that trade-offs between good CDR practices and five organizational objectives and motivations are key underlying causes (e.g., incremental sales can be achieved with better data and analytics but carry a gamut of privacy, fairness, discrimination and psychological risks). Finally, this article proposes a set of strategies, tools and practices managers can use to address these trade-offs and build a CDR-strong service organization.

Keywords: corporate digital responsibility, artificial intelligence, data, ethics, fairness, privacy

Suggested Citation

Wirtz, Jochen and Hartley, Nicole and Kunz, Werner H. and Tarbit, James and Ford, Jamie, Corporate Digital Responsibility at the Dawn of the Digital Service Revolution (March 17, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3806235 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3806235

Jochen Wirtz

National University of Singapore ( email )

15 Kent Ridge Drive
Singapore, 119245
Singapore

Nicole Hartley

University of Queensland

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Werner H. Kunz (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts ( email )

M-5-213 – 100 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, 02125
United States

James Tarbit

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Jamie Ford

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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