While ethics is usually seen as a possible research subject and ethical standards have to be observed when doing IS research, there does not seem to be any direct link between ethics and specific research approaches. This paper argues that this perception is wrong and that the interpretive paradigm of IS research is directly and necessarily linked with ethics. The paper uses the theories of Paul Ricoeur to argue that both theoretical underpinnings of IS research, namely phenomenology and hermeneutics, have an ethical quality. Both rely on the concept of the other in order to interact and make sense of the world. Using Ricoeur's writings, it is argued that all interaction with others requires consideration of the shared vision of the good life as well as the moral rules that will bring about cooperation and the question of how these rules can be applied prudently. Interpretive research thus has an ethical quality that should not be ignored.
Stahl, Bernd Carsten, "A Critical View of the Ethical Nature of Interpretive Research: Paul Ricceur and the Other" (2005). ECIS 2005 Proceedings. 29.