IBIMA Publishing Communications of the IBIMA http://www.ibimapublishing.com/journals/CIBIMA/cibima.html Vol. 2010 (2010), Article ID 127497, 10 pages DOI: 10.5171/2010.127497
Ethical Decision Making in ICT: Discussing the Impact of an Ethical Code of Conduct
Joachim Van den Bergh and Dirk Deschoolmeester
Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Gent, Belgium ____________________________________________________________
_____________________ Abstract In December 2007 and January 2008 a survey on ethical aspects of ICT was executed. The aim was to assess the ethical behaviour of ICT-professionals in Belgium and thus opening a discussion on the need for an ethical code of conduct in the ICT-management domain. Respondents were asked to give their opinion on the ethical impact of nine ICT related cases. The target group involved in the survey consisted of ICT-professionals and managers involved in ICT-related decision making. This paper presents and discusses the results of the survey. So far few studies have been dealing with the topic of the impact of codes of conduct and ethics in the domain of ICT. Statistical evidence of the impact of an ethical code of conduct in ICT on decision making in potentially hazardous situations is presented in this work. In some cases, respondents with a code of conduct in their organisation tend to be more critical towards potentially unethical behaviour. Keywords: Ethics, ICT-management, code of ethics, code of conduct
Introduction As technology and ICT applications grow more mature and gain ever more influence in the economy, the potential impact of ethical decision making in ICT increases. In the contemporary economy knowledge is of strategic importance to competitive organisations. In this context ICT professionals have an essential position because they have access to critical systems and potentially strategic data. Misuse or even abuse of these data...