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The effects of sociocultural factors on the information ethics of undergraduate students: A literature review

Mariam Al-Nuaimi (Department of Information Studies, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman)
Ali Al-Aufi (Department of Information Studies, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman)
Abdelmajid Bouazza (Department of Information Studies, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman)

Library Review

ISSN: 0024-2535

Article publication date: 5 September 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to evaluate the literature dealing with the sociocultural influences on undergraduate students’ information ethics (IE) cognition and behaviour. Much of the reviewed literature draws on the experiences of countries that differ in terms of cultural and economic aspects.

Design/methodology/approach

This structured review uses an integrative approach to synthesize the existing literature relevant to the factors in question. Correspondingly, limitations, agreements and disagreements within the relevant literature are indicated. A set of relevance criteria is developed, and analytical information for each study is then organized and summarized into aggregate findings.

Findings

Despite the significant explanatory power of the reciprocal correlation between individualism and economic wealth to predict declines in unethical information practices, IE studies persist in producing inconsistent findings in this regard. Thus, further facets of cross-cultural differences should be addressed beyond the individualistic/collectivistic typology.

Originality/value

This paper has pedagogical worth for students, researchers and developers of IE educational programs at the tertiary level. It also possesses methodological value for studying the sociocultural effects on the IE behaviour of computing professionals within the broader context of global IE research.

Keywords

Citation

Al-Nuaimi, M., Al-Aufi, A. and Bouazza, A. (2017), "The effects of sociocultural factors on the information ethics of undergraduate students: A literature review", Library Review, Vol. 66 No. 6/7, pp. 378-398. https://doi.org/10.1108/LR-09-2016-0082

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited