Advertisement

Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 425–437 | Cite as

Computer ethics: The role of personal, informal, and formal codes

  • Margaret Anne Pierce
  • John W. Henry
Article

Abstract

Ethical decisions related to computer technology and computer use are subject to three primary influences: (1) the individual's own personal code (2) any informal code of ethical behavior that exists in the work place, and (3) exposure to formal codes of ethics. The relative importance of these codes, as well as factors influencing these codes, was explored in a nationwide survey of information system (IS) professionals. The implications of the findings are important to educators and employers in the development of acceptable ethical standards.

Keywords

Information System Economic Growth Ethical Standard Computer Technology Ethical Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bommer, M., C. Gratto, J. Gravander and M. Tuttle: 1987, ‘A Behavioral Model of Ethical and Unethical Decision Making’, Journal of Business Ethics 6, 265–280.Google Scholar
  2. Cohen, E. and L. Cornwell: 1989, ‘A Question of Ethics: Developing Information System Ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics 8, 431–437.Google Scholar
  3. Creating A Workable Company Code of Ethics: 1990 (Ethics Resource Center, Washington, DC).Google Scholar
  4. Ernst & Whinney: 1989, ‘The 1989 Computer Abuse Survey: A Report’, Pamphlet (Ernst & Whinney, 2000 National City Center, Cleveland, OH, 44114).Google Scholar
  5. Flanagan, W. G., and B. McMenamin: December 21, 1992, ‘The Playground Bullies Are Learning How to Type’, Forbes Magazine, 184–189.Google Scholar
  6. Gardner, E. P., L. B. Samuels, B. Render and R. L. Coffinberger: Fall 1989, ‘The Importance of Ethical Standards and Computer Crime Laws for Data Security’, Journal of Information Systems Management, 42–50.Google Scholar
  7. Gray, A. P. and R. J. Perle: 1992, ‘Attitudes on Legality Versus Ethics in Software Copyrights’, Interface 14(4), 27–34.Google Scholar
  8. Johnson, D. G.: 1985, Computer Ethics (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ).Google Scholar
  9. Kallman, E. A.: 1992, ‘Developing a Code for Ethical Computer Use’, Journal of Systems Software 17, 69–74.Google Scholar
  10. Molander, E. A.: 1987, ‘A Paradigm for Design, Promulgation and Enforcement of Ethical Codes’, Journal of Business Ethics 6, 619–631.Google Scholar
  11. Paradice, D. B.: 1990, ‘Ethical Attitudes of Entry-Level MIS Personnel’, Information and Management 18, 143–151.Google Scholar
  12. Pelfrey, S., and E. Peacock: 1991, ‘Ethical Codes of Conduct Are Improving’, Business Forum 16(2), 14–17.Google Scholar
  13. Piper, T. R., M. C. Gentile, and S. D. Parks: 1983, Can Ethics Be Taught? (Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA).Google Scholar
  14. Sacco, V. F., and E. Zureik: 1990, ‘Correlates of Computer Misuse: Data from a Self-Reporting Sample’, Behaviour and Information Technology 9(5), 353–369.Google Scholar
  15. Schlegelmilch, B. B., and J. E. Houston: 1990, ‘Corporate Codes of Ethics’, Management Decisions 28(7), 38–43.Google Scholar
  16. Straub, D. W., Jr., W. D. Nance, and C. L. Carlson: 1990, ‘Discovering and Discipline Computer Abuse in Organizations: A Field Study’, MIS Quarterly 14(1), 45–60.Google Scholar
  17. Trevino, L. K.: 1986, ‘Ethical Decision Making in Organizations: A Person-situation Interactionist Model’, Academy of Management Review 11, 601–617.Google Scholar
  18. Wahn, J.: 1993, ‘Organizational Dependence and the Likelihood of Complying with Organizational Pressures to Behave Unethically’, Journal of Business Ethics 12, 245–251.Google Scholar
  19. Witkin, H. A., and D. R. Goodenough: 1977, ‘Field Dependence and Interpersonal Behavior’, Psychological Bulletin 84, 661–689.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret Anne Pierce
    • 1
  • John W. Henry
    • 1
  1. 1.Georgia Southern UniversityStatesboroU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations