Social and Ethical Implications of Digitalization - M.Sc.

General information

  • Module: Social and Ethical Implications of Digitalization
  • Module number lecture: M.WIWI-WIN.0023
  • UniVZ: 801481
  • Credits: 6 ECTS
  • Cycle: single
  • Language: English
  • Examination: written examination (100%)
  • Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Robert Wayne Gregory
  • Contact: Maike Greve

Dates, times, location

Lectures (online)

  • 25.06.2020, 09:00-18:00, Seminarraum, Humboldtallee 3
  • 26.06.2020, 09:00-18:00, Seminarraum, Humboldtallee 3

  • 27.04.2020: 15:00 - 16:30 (online): Kick-off
  • 23.06.2020: 14:00 - 18:00 (online): Day 1
  • 24.06.2020: 14:00 - 18:00 (online): Day 2
  • 25.06.2020: 14:00 - 18:00 (online): Day 3
  • 26.06.2020: 14:00 - 18:00 (online): Day 4
  • 30.06.2020: 12:30 - 14:00 (online): Final Exam

  • All classes will take place online and detailed instructions will be given after successful registration. All classes will be recorded. For successful completion of the course, students should participate in all online classes.

Learning outcome, core skills

This course aims to explore digitalization of society from the standpoint of a socially responsible digital leadership. It develops a set of concepts, frameworks, and tools to help students understand how to make decisions related to digitalization that establish a meaningful balance between the enabling and constraining roles of ICT.


This course is organized based on two complementary frameworks. First, a framework for Ethics. Second, a framework for Digitalization

1) Ethics framework. The following areas of “digital ethics” will be explored in the course:

  • Security (identification mechanisms, encryption, backups, hacking, etc.)
  • Cybercrime (robbery, identity theft, extortion, etc.)
  • Privacy (big data, etc.)
  • Social interaction (social technology, online communication, etc.)
  • Governance (rules, regulations, net neutrality, etc.)
  • Free will (how to use technology, algorithmic regulation, ethics of algorithms, etc.)
  • Society and economy (the digital revolution, smart machines eliminating jobs, autonomous technologies, etc.)

2) Digitalization framework. The following areas of digitalization from a societal perspective will be explored in the course:

  • Connections (Mobile Technology, Cloud Computing, the Internet of Everything, etc.)
  • Information (Big Data, Transparency, the Generation and Sharing of Information, etc.)
  • Interactions (Social Technology, Online Communities, Digital Platforms, Crowdsourcing, etc.)
  • Intelligence (Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms, Man-Machine Symbiosis, etc.)

The course employs a combination of case discussions and lectures.


Students will be asked to fulfill standard class attendance and participation requirements as well as to complete a final written exam (90 minutes). More details on the exam will be provided in class.

Students will be asked to fulfill class attendance and participation requirements (Kick-off mandatory) as well as deliver a final written exam (90 minutes) that will be completed at home. More details on the exam will be provided in the first online class on 27.04.2020.

Exam requirements

In order to accomplish successfully this course, students are expected to document an understanding of:

  • Individual and societal impacts of digitalization including potential ethical risks (including, for example, privacy concerns, security issues, cybercrime, consequences of breakdowns of fully automated systems, income inequality, and worsening other existing social problems)
  • Socially responsible digital leadership (including the enabling and constraining roles of ICT in the design, implementation, and use of the new generation of these technologies also referred to as digital technologies and platforms).

Recommended previous knowledge

Basic knowledge of business administration and information management


The course has reached the maximum number of participants. It is not possible to register for the course any longer.

There will be a registration period for the course from 20.04.until 24.04.2020.

The number of participants to this course is limited to 20. The places will be awarded upon receipt of the registration.

Please register by sending an e-mail to Maike Greve ( incl. your university e-mail adress. After the registration you will be automatically added to the Stud.IP Group.