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Exploring intergenerational differences in technology-oriented ethical behavior

Shivangi Verma (Delhi Technological University, Delhi, India)
Naval Garg (Delhi Technological University, Delhi, India)

Kybernetes

ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 8 February 2022

Issue publication date: 19 May 2023

526

Abstract

Purpose

The proliferation of information technology (IT) and IT-enabled devices has brought various challenges for modern organizations. These challenges are aggravated by the fact that the employees of different generations have a varying degree of expertise and ethical orientation regarding technology. This study has two primary objectives to have an in-depth understanding of technology-related ethical behavior of a diverse workforce. First, it aims to develop a valid and reliable scale to measure technology-oriented ethical behavior. Second, it investigates variations in technology-oriented ethical behavior among Generation X (pre-millennial), Generation Y (millennial) and Generation Z (post-millennial) using the scale.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is conducted in two steps. The first step, a techno-ethical scale, is developed with the help of the six steps of scale development proposed by Churchill (1979). These steps include exploratory factor analysis (EFA), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), reliability analysis (composite reliability) and validity analysis (convergent and divergent validity). In the second step, intergenerational variation in different factors of technology-oriented ethical behavior among generation X, Y and Z employees is explored with the help of ANOVA and mean plots.

Findings

The study suggests a four-dimensional techno-ethical scale comprising fourteen statements. These four dimensions of the scale are the invasion of the right of privacy, defamation, self-enrichment and loafing during office hours. The scale is reported to have adequate reliability and validity estimates. Results also recommend statistically significant variations in all four dimensions of technology-oriented ethical behavior among pre-millennial, millennial and post-millennial. Also, except for self-enrichment, the mean values progressively increase from pre-millennial to post-millennial. Even for self-enrichment, the mean value is highest for post-millennial.

Originality/value

This study is one of the pioneer studies that explore ethical orientation towards technology usage of three generations of employees.

Keywords

Citation

Verma, S. and Garg, N. (2023), "Exploring intergenerational differences in technology-oriented ethical behavior", Kybernetes, Vol. 52 No. 6, pp. 2164-2180. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-09-2021-0897

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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