The purpose of this study is to investigate the reasons behind unethical behaviour in the Australian Information and Communications Technology (ICT) workplace.
The study employed a qualitative research methodology. A total of 43 ICT professionals were interviewed during the month of February 2014 in six Australian capital cities. All interviews were conducted face-to-face and followed a semi-structured interviewing format utilising open-end questions and further probing questions. The purposive sample represented ICT professionals from large and small organisations, government and private sector, different geographic locations, ages, genders, types of jobs and employment experience. Data analysis was completed with the help of QSR NVivo 10, a software package for managing qualitative data.
Of the 25 reasons identified for unethical behaviour in ICT workplaces, 30 per cent of participants agreed on five major ones: pressure, bad management, greed, lack of respect towards ICT and communication issues.
By focussing on the reasons behind unethical behaviour in the Australian ICT workplace, this article helps those identifying strategies for dealing with unprofessional behaviour to take into account the root causes of unprofessional behaviour.
There is hardly any literature on reasons for unethical behaviour in the ICT workplaces. This article seeks to address this imbalance in the literature. Also, integrity systems in ICT are a new focus in collective, organisational ethics. Identification of and resolving unethical ICT workplace practice is an innovative contribution to the literature.
The research reported here is supported by an ARC Linkage grant (LP130100808), for which the industry partner is the ACS.
Al-Saggaf, Y., Burmeister, O. and Weckert, J. (2015), "Reasons behind unethical behaviour in the Australian ICT workplace: An empirical investigation", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 13 No. 3/4, pp. 235-255. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICES-12-2014-0060Download as .RIS
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