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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2015

Richard Volkman

The paper aims to examine the nature of computer ethics as a field of study in light of 20 years of Ethicomp, arguing that computer ethics beyond mere compliance will have…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to examine the nature of computer ethics as a field of study in light of 20 years of Ethicomp, arguing that computer ethics beyond mere compliance will have to be pluralistic and sensitive to the starting places of various audiences.

Design/methodology/approach

The essay offers a philosophical rather than empirical analysis, but the ideal of open inquiry is observed to be manifest in the practice of Ethicomp.

Findings

If computer ethics is to constitute a real engagement with industry and society that cultivates a genuine sensitivity to ethical concerns in the creation, development and implementation of technologies, a genuine sensitivity that stands in marked contrast to ethics as “mere compliance”, then computer ethics will have to persist in issuing an open invitation to inquiry.

Originality/value

The celebration of 20 years of Ethicomp is an occasion to reflect on who we are and what we mean to be doing. Inclusive of previous accounts (e.g. Moor and Gotterbarn), while going beyond them, an inquiry-based conception of computer ethics makes room for all the various dimensions of computer ethics.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 13 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2015

Omwoyo Bosire Onyancha

The purpose of this paper is to explore the differences and similarities between computer ethics, internet ethics and cyberethics as reflected in the contents of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the differences and similarities between computer ethics, internet ethics and cyberethics as reflected in the contents of the published literature as well as the search trends on Google.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper opted for an informetrics approach, and more specifically content analysis, to investigate the inter-relationships between computer ethics, internet ethics and cyberethics. The data sources for this study included Google Trends, Google Scholar and the Web of Science citation indexes. Different search queries were used, depending on the structure of each data source, to extract the relevant data sets.

Findings

Using different methods and techniques to analyse the data, the paper provides an alternative means of investigating relationships among concepts. The findings indicate that there is still no clear distinction between the concepts in terms of subject and title terms used to describe the published literature on the three concepts, as well as the research areas where the three concepts are applied. Going by the current trend, the paper envisages that cyberethics may, in the future, become a broader term to include computer ethics and internet ethics.

Research limitations/implications

The data sources that were selected for the study might have not been comprehensive in the coverage of the published literature on the three concepts and therefore there is need for further research, which will expand the scope of the data sources.

Practical implications

The paper’s findings may apply in the practice of indexing and abstracting as well as thesaurus construction as far as the three terms are concerned.

Originality/value

The paper offers an alternative technique that can be used to investigate relationships among concepts. The value of the paper could include curriculum development of programmes dealing with ethical issues that arise when developing and using computers and related technologies.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2012

Norshidah Mohamed, Nor Shahriza Abdul Karim and Ramlah Hussein

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which individual characteristics, which are gender, religious (Islamic) work value, and organization level…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which individual characteristics, which are gender, religious (Islamic) work value, and organization level (students and staff), are related to attitudes toward computer use ethics. This investigation is conducted in an academic setting in Malaysia, among those subscribing to the same religious value.

Design/methodology/approach

The research used a cross‐sectional survey approach in an attempt to achieve the objective. A total of 550 responses were collected from academic staff and students in an institution of higher learning in Malaysia. Respondents were given several scenarios of ethical behavior to rate their attitudinal directions in computer work ethic. Their perceptions would indicate whether they are inclined towards ethical or unethical types of computer use behaviors based on the action in the scenarios.

Findings

The findings indicate that individual characteristics consisting of individuals’ value for Islamic work ethics and level in the organizational hierarchy are linked to attitudes toward ethical computer use. However, there was no support to suggest that attitudes toward ethical computer use are related to gender.

Research limitations/implications

This exploratory study may spark more investigation into the area of computer ethics, which is in need of more research. This study also contributes significantly in confirming findings in similar research on individual characteristics and ethics in computer use, and in providing a methodological approach for measuring the construct of ethical computer use attitude and personal ethical work values by using behavioral scenario measures.

Practical implications

This research should contribute significantly in the area of Business Ethics and Management Information Systems courses for both undergraduate and postgraduate business programs. The fact that individual characteristics contribute significantly in the ethical use of computers may lead to better insights into computer misuse and allow better preventive measures to be taken by organizations through Ethics and Management Information Systems curricula in business education.

Originality/value

The research provides a unique perspective of computer use ethics, which is not much covered in the literature. The measurement produced can be used as a research tool for more exploratory and explanatory research in computer use ethics, and as an evaluative tool for organizations in hiring the right personnel and providing training and motivation for more productive and ethical employees.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2008

Mansoor Al‐A'ali

The purpose of this paper is to study the ethical behaviour of Muslim IT professionals in an attempt to stop many unethical practices such as software piracy, software…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the ethical behaviour of Muslim IT professionals in an attempt to stop many unethical practices such as software piracy, software intellectual property violations and general software development.

Design/methodology/approach

This study examines the computer ethical principles presented in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) code of conduct from an Islamic point of view through studying some relevant verses of The Holy Quran and Hadiths of Prophet Mohammed. An evaluation of the benefits of this newly proposed Islamic computer code of ethics is presented by surveying how IT students, IT professionals and software house owners would adhere to it. The evaluation was carried out by teaching different groups of participants aspects of the ACM code of conduct and the proposed Islamic computer ethics code and then surveying their opinions by a questionnaire.

Findings

The study demonstrates that teaching computer ethics in general, and computer ethics from an Islamic point of view in particular, clearly contributes to ethical behaviour of Muslim IT professionals with regards to software development issues.

Research limitations/implications

It is not possible to put participants through real life scenarios and practically observe how they would react to different ethical situations. The empirical research thus relies on what participants said they would do.

Practical implications

The newly developed Islamic code of computer ethics and its proposed implementation method can be utilised by organisations for their benefit.

Originality/value

The study is the first to address the issue of computer ethics and Islam for IT professionals. This paper presents a first Islamic computer code of ethics and presents a methodology for applying it. It also reports a study undertaken in Bahrain of how attitudes might be influenced by teaching computer ethics in general, and computer ethics from an Islamic point of view in particular.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2015

Norberto Patrignani and Diane Whitehouse

This discussion paper focuses on a notion of information and communication technology (ICT) that is good, clean and fair that the authors call Slow Tech. The purpose of…

Abstract

Purpose

This discussion paper focuses on a notion of information and communication technology (ICT) that is good, clean and fair that the authors call Slow Tech. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the Slow Tech approach in order to explain how to create a suitable bridge between business ethics and computer ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper’s approach is discursive. It provides a viewpoint. Its arguments are based in an examination of literature relevant to both business ethics and computer ethics. Justification is produced for the use of Slow Tech approach. A number of potential future research and application issues still to be investigated are also provided.

Findings

Slow Tech can be proposed, and used, as a bridging mechanism between companies’ strategies regarding computer ethics and business ethics. Three case studies illustrate the kind of challenges that companies have to tackle when trying to implement Slow Tech in concrete business context. Further study need to be undertaken to make progress on Slow Tech in applied, corporate settings.

Practical implications

ICT companies need to look for innovative, new approaches to producing, selling and recycling their services and products. A Slow Tech approach can provide such insights.

Social implications

Today’s challenges to the production and use of good, clean, and fair ICT, both conceptual and concrete, can act as incentives for action: they can further applied research or encourage social activism. Encouraging the study, and the application, of Slow Tech provides a first step in the potential improvement of a society in which information technology is totally embedded.

Originality/value

The value of this paper in not only for academics and researchers, but also for practitioners: especially for personnel working in ICT companies and for those involved with designing, developing and applying codes of conduct at both European and globally.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1995

Michael A. Covington

As the set of people using computers becomes larger and less cohesive, it is becoming important to educate users about their ethical responsibilities. Design of an…

Abstract

As the set of people using computers becomes larger and less cohesive, it is becoming important to educate users about their ethical responsibilities. Design of an effective campus computer ethics policy requires awareness of numerous cultural, technical and legal issues. Especially important are the cultural splits between power users and utilitarian users, and between “old world” and “new world” philosophies of computer ethics. Discusses those issues and presents the University of Georgia’s ethics policy as a model to aid those developing similar policies at other institutions.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Dane K. Peterson

Examines the influence of computer guidelines and the belief in universal moral rules on ethical intentions regarding the use of computers in the workplace. The results…

Abstract

Examines the influence of computer guidelines and the belief in universal moral rules on ethical intentions regarding the use of computers in the workplace. The results revealed that the interaction between computer guidelines and belief in universal moral rules was significant. Business professionals with a strong belief in universal moral rules exhibited high ethical intentions, regardless of whether or not their organization had clear guidelines concerning the use of company computers. However, for business professionals with a low belief in universal moral rules, the presence of clear computer guidelines had a positive effect on ethical intentions. This investigation provides evidence that computer guidelines are positively related to ethical intentions only for individuals who do not adhere to a belief in universal moral rules.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2007

Krystyna Górniak‐Kocikowska

The purpose of this paper is to address the place of computer/ICT ethics in the global ICT society driven by knowledge economy.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the place of computer/ICT ethics in the global ICT society driven by knowledge economy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper focuses on three main issues: the evolution of the name of the leading technology of our times and, accordingly, the evolution of the name of the society in which this technology plays the leading role; some ethical dilemmas that the global ICT society will need to solve; global ICT ethics and the knowledge economy.

Findings

The paper suggests that global ICT ethics should be an ethics focusing on the dynamics of the relationship between the weak and the strong, the rich and the poor, the healthy and the sick worldwide – and it should explore the ethical problems from the point of view of both parties involved. That way, Global ICT Ethics can have a truly communicative character, and it can become an ethics that will be both a co‐creator and also a result of a democratic processes.

Originality/value

This paper should interest anyone concerned with ICT and globalization.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2007

Kenneth Einar Himma

Information ethics, as is well known, has emerged as an independent area of ethical and philosophical inquiry. There are a number of academic journals that are devoted…

Abstract

Purpose

Information ethics, as is well known, has emerged as an independent area of ethical and philosophical inquiry. There are a number of academic journals that are devoted entirely to the numerous ethical issues that arise in connection with the new information communication technologies; these issues include a host of intellectual property, information privacy, and security issues of concern to librarians and other information professionals. In addition, there are a number of major international conferences devoted to information ethics every year. It would hardly be overstating the matter to say that information ethics is as “hot” an area of theoretical inquiry as medical ethics. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview on these and related issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a review of relevant information ethics literature together with the author's assessment of the arguments.

Findings

There are issues that are more abstract and basic than the substantive issues with which most information ethics theorizing is concerned. These issues are thought to be “foundational” in the sense that we cannot fully succeed in giving an analysis of the concrete problems of information ethics (e.g. are legal intellectual property rights justifiably protected?) until these issues are adequately addressed.

Originality/value

The paper offers a needed survey of foundational issues in information ethics.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2012

Antonio Marturano

The purpose of the editorial is to remember Professor Alessandro D'Atri, a pioneering Information Systems Scholar with whom the author collaborated for about 15 years. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the editorial is to remember Professor Alessandro D'Atri, a pioneering Information Systems Scholar with whom the author collaborated for about 15 years. The main outcome of such collaboration is the conference Ethicomp 1999 in Rome. Following that conference the author has started elaborating a paper “Metaethics and the future of computer ethics” (Marturano) which was widely cited and quoted in the field. Thence the author has discussed its impact in the field and discussed some following papers dealing with similar topics. It emerged that such a paper is still a valid one for its perspectives but still not understood as for most of its ethical suggestions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is mainly philosophical and critical. It uses mostly critical analysis of papers dealing with the same topics.

Findings

The perspectives and the seminal ideas of the author's paper “Metaethics and the future of computer ethics” (Marturano) are still valid and, in some extent, are more fruitful than some following papers covering the same topics.

Originality/value

The value of this guest editorial is in remembering a very valuable and pioneering scholar – Alessandro D'Atri and comparing the author's paper's findings with other similar papers, which results in a better understanding of theoretical problems in the discipline.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

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