Nine small moral dilemmas

How often does this happen?

1) Your manager asks to become a friend on Facebook

2) Your manager sends you a work related question via Facebook

3) A friend on Facebook becomes a supplier

4) You know of a contract manager who is a Facebook friend of a supplier for the same contract

5) A current supplier asks to connect with you via Linkedin

6) A contact on Linkedin becomes a supplier

7) You recommend a contact on Linkedin who later becomes a supplier

8) A contact asks for a recommendation on Linkedin but you have never worked with them.

9) You have a ‘semi-private’ conversation with someone on Twitter who then copies and uses your Tweets out of context

So where does the line get drawn between relationships and is there any difference between these situations online and offline?

Does it make a difference that online these interactions and connections become visible?

Should they be included in declarations of interest? Is there anything that either HR or propriety teams need to get involved in?

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Nine small moral dilemmas

  1. Anonymous

    Excellent questions and examples. In the quest to get colleagues to embrace social media in the workplace, these situations present a real challenge because they simply weren’t thought of when ‘the rules’ were originally conceived.In the health arena, this is an issue that reaches a step further where doctor/patient relationships are concerned. There’s more discussion on that here: http://www.nhssm.posterous.com

  2. lesteph

    My own rule of thumb for some of this was: in public spaces, relationships are open and can be initiated freely unless otherwise requested in profiles and bios. In private spaces (e.g. Facebook with privacy, LinkedIn, private Twitter etc) then the principle should be up not down, i.e. you can friend your manager but they shouldn’t proactively friend you; commissioning work through personal channels should be a last resort in an emergency, not a natural method.

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