The purpose of this paper is to examine the ability of enterprise systems and embedded controls to prevent unethical behavior within organizations.
The authors use a case study to explore how the configuration of information technology (IT) controls within enterprise systems and their effectiveness in preventing unethical behavior is compromised by the tone at the top.
The study highlights the decisive role of cultural values and leadership in moderating the relationship between IT controls and unethical behavior and the realization that ethical environments are socially constructed not enforced.
The limitation of this research is that the authors conducted one case study in an institution of higher education to refute the theory that IT controls embedded within enterprise systems can prevent unethical, and thus, the results may not be generalizable to other industries.
An important implication of the research is that the configuration of information system controls is affected by the organizational culture and the ethical values embraced by top management. When the tone at the top does not emphasize the ethical code of conduct, the configuration of IT controls will be compromised leaving organizations vulnerable at all levels.
Although the authors have a wealth of knowledge on ethics and theories that explain why unethical decision-making continue to surface to the headlines, they have little explanation as to why enterprise systems fail to stop unethical behavior in organizations. This study explores technical, organizational and individual factors that contribute to unethical decision-making.
Sherif, K., Pitre, R. and Kamara, M. (2016), "Why do information system controls fail to prevent unethical behavior?", VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, Vol. 46 No. 2, pp. 251-266. https://doi.org/10.1108/VJIKMS-04-2015-0028Download as .RIS
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