Ethical Issues in E-Commerce: A Renewed Analysis Based on the Multiplicity of Customer Relationships

  • Magnus FrostensonEmail author
  • Nina Hasche
  • Sven Helin
  • Frans Prenkert
Part of the Ethical Economy book series (SEEP, volume 51)


Although ethical issues in e-commerce have received increased interest in recent years, the relational context between e-vendor and e-customer has remained relatively unproblematized. Rather than assuming an anonymous interface between e-vendor and e-customer, with specific ethical issues related to it, we examine a case of a hybrid organizational context where physical stores within the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector use an intermediary to sell goods via e-commerce. The co-existence of physical stores and Internet solutions creates multiple relationships to customers and, as we argue, ethical problems of partly different kind compared to the ones identified in the literature. In the article, both the nature of the relationships between e-vendor and e-customer is analysed and ethical issues related to these relationships identified. From a theoretical point of view, the article widens the discussion on e-commerce ethics from a relational perspective inspired by Martin Buber’s philosophy.


Buber E-commerce Ethics Internet Relation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magnus Frostenson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nina Hasche
    • 1
  • Sven Helin
    • 1
  • Frans Prenkert
    • 1
  1. 1.Örebro University School of BusinessÖrebro UniversityÖrebroSweden

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