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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2007

Don Fallis

To provide an introduction to concepts and resources that will be useful to library professionals learning about information ethics.

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12921

Abstract

Purpose

To provide an introduction to concepts and resources that will be useful to library professionals learning about information ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper argues for the importance of information ethics to twenty‐first century library professionals. It describes what various authors have said about how information ethics can be applied to the ethical dilemmas faced by library professionals.

Findings

In order to deal effectively with their ethical dilemmas, library professionals must have a good working knowledge of information ethics. Codes of professional ethics can help to provide such knowledge, but they are not sufficient. Courses on information ethics must be part of the education of information professionals. Such courses should provide library professionals with an understanding of ethical theories and how they apply to concrete practical cases. Such courses should also make explicit the connection between information ethics and the mission of the library professional.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is not intended to provide an exhaustive list of publications on the topic of information ethics and library professionals.

Originality/value

This paper provides library professionals with a concise introduction to information ethics.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2012

Omar E.M. Khalil and Ahmed A.S. Seleim

The information technology (IT) related ethical issues will only increase in frequency and complexity with the increasing diffusion of IT in economies and societies. The…

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1602

Abstract

Purpose

The information technology (IT) related ethical issues will only increase in frequency and complexity with the increasing diffusion of IT in economies and societies. The purpose of this paper is to explore Egyptian students' attitudes towards the information ethics issues of privacy, access, property, and accuracy, and it evaluates the possible impact of a number of personal characteristics on such attitudes.

Design/methodology/approach

This research utilized a cross‐sectional sample and data set to test five hypotheses. It adopted an instrument to collect the respondents' background information and assess their attitudes towards the information ethics issues of privacy, property, accuracy, and access. Egyptian business students at Alexandria University were asked to participate in the survey. A total of 305 responses were collected and analyzed.

Findings

The analysis revealed that students are sensitive to the ethicality of information privacy, information accuracy, and information access. However, students are insensitive to the ethicality of property (software) right. In addition, years of education have a main effect on students' attitudes towards property, and gender and age have an interaction effect on students' attitudes towards access.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this research are based on a cross‐sectional data set collected from a sample of business students at a public university. Students, however, may make poor surrogates for business or IT professionals. Future similar research designs that employ large samples from Egyptian working professionals and students in other private and public universities are needed to verify the findings of this research.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that the investigated university as well as the other similar Egyptian universities should consider integrating ethics education into their curricula. Teaching information ethics, especially from an Islamic perspective, is expected to positively influence students' information ethical attitudes. The enforcement of the existing property right protection laws should also curb software piracy in the Egyptian market.

Originality/value

It is vital to expand the ethical research currently being performed in IT in order to help bridge the gap between behavior and IT. The findings of this research extend the understanding of students' attitudes towards the information ethics issues in Egyptian culture and contribute to the growing body of knowledge on global information ethics.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 28 April 2020

Maryam Nasser Al-Nuaimi, AbdelMajid Bouazza and Maher M. Abu-Hilal

Moor (1985) designated two major problem sources typifying the social and ethical implications of computer technologies, namely, “policy vacuum” and “conceptual muddles.”…

Abstract

Purpose

Moor (1985) designated two major problem sources typifying the social and ethical implications of computer technologies, namely, “policy vacuum” and “conceptual muddles.” Motivated by Moor’s seminal definition and Floridi’s (2013) conceptualization of information and communication technologies (ICTs) as re-ontologizing technologies, this study aims to explore Omani undergraduates’ cognition regarding ICT ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting a grounded theory approach for the constant comparative thematic analysis, the constituents of ICT ethics-related cognition among undergraduates and influencing factors were scrutinized. Qualitative data were gathered via focus group discussions with undergraduates and interviews with academics and information systems professionals at Sultan Qaboos University.

Findings

In total, 10 thematic categories revolving around a core category, constructing conceptual perceptions of and attitudes toward the realms constituting ICT ethics using an ontological, object-oriented approach, emerged from the comparative analysis. Undergraduates were found to adopt an applied approach when defining professional ICT ethics codes and policies, with a particular focus on information privacy and integrity.

Research limitations/implications

This qualitative study was conducted at a single research site. This may restrict the generalizability of the findings. Postgraduates were not considered when designing this qualitative inquiry.

Originality/value

The findings of the study hold theoretical and methodological significance with regard to ICT ethics-related cognition in the era following the fourth industrial revolution by sustaining feminist ethics in this research. Ultimately, the study developed a substantive theory scrutinizing the constitutive elements of ICT ethics-related cognition among Generation Z.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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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…

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4734

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: 4 March 2014

Neil Kenneth McBride

The purpose of this paper is to present a novel mnemonic, ACTIVE, inspired by Mason's 1985 PAPA mnemonic, which will help researchers and IT professionals develop an…

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2977

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a novel mnemonic, ACTIVE, inspired by Mason's 1985 PAPA mnemonic, which will help researchers and IT professionals develop an understanding of the major issues in information ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

Theoretical foundations are developed for each element of the mnemonic by reference to philosophical definitions of the terms used and to virtue ethics, particularly MacIntyrean virtue ethics. The paper starts with a critique of the elements of the PAPA mnemonic and then proceeds to develop an understanding of each of the elements of ACTIVE ethics, via a discussion of the underpinning virtue ethics.

Findings

This paper identifies six issues, described by the mnemonic, ACTIVE. ACTIVE stands for: autonomy, the ability of the individual to manage their own information and make choice; community, the ethical effect of an information systems on the community which it supports; transparency, the extent to which the derivation of content and process in an information system is made clear; identity, the social and ethical effect of an information system on the definition and maintenance of the distinctive characteristics of a person; value, the value or moral worth placed on information associated with an individual and hence on the relationship with the individual; and empathy, the ability of the information systems professional to emotionally connect with the user and the extent to which the information system distances or connects.

Originality/value

The paper applies virtue ethics to developing a tool to help information professionals reflect on their ethical practice in developing and supporting information systems.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2002

Abdulridha Alshawaf, Ajay Adhikari and Hao Zhang

This article highlights the importance and complexity of creating cultural assets (e.g. corporate norms, shared perceptions) in a global economy. We examine the…

Abstract

This article highlights the importance and complexity of creating cultural assets (e.g. corporate norms, shared perceptions) in a global economy. We examine the relationship of the business environment and the gender subcultures on social‐related information technology (IT) issues by comparing the attitudes towards information ethics among Kuwaiti business students and Kuwaiti business practitioners. We find that attitudes towards information ethics issues differ depending on type of respondent and gender. However, the effect of type of respondent depends on gender. Cultural idiosyncrasies of the Middle East are partly helpful in explaining our results. An implication of our results is that cultural assets such as corporate norms and shared perceptions are not easily shaped and require a sustained commitment and investment to overcome the competing influence of forces such as national culture and gender effects.

Details

Review of Accounting and Finance, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1475-7702

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2017

Christina Ling-hsing Chang

The purpose of this paper is to suggest that the information ethics (IE) of students appear to improve more through adoption of the technology mediated learning (TML…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to suggest that the information ethics (IE) of students appear to improve more through adoption of the technology mediated learning (TML) platform rather than face-to-face (FTF) approach. In addition, it shows the pattern changes in each scenario resulting from the ethics training and analyses them from the Confucian ethics perspective, indicating that researchers should consider this aspect in future models.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employed non-parametric methods to test the outcome of the “information ethics course” of two kinds of training platforms. FTF training: 193 students; TML training: 185 students.

Findings

The TML platform produces a more significant improvement in the students’ respect for rules, privacy, accessibility, and intellectual property (IP) cognition, rather than the FTF method. Based on the findings, two propositions (eight sub-propositions) are formulated and revised two sub-propositions.

Research limitations/implications

However, this study has a few limitations that can be enhanced by further research in the future: first, the data were only collected from one university (National Pingtung University), thus, the external validity is not satisfactory for all Chinese context students. Second, it is necessary to collect both of scenario-based and qualitative data from different cultural context students (such as Mainland China, the USA, Europe, Arabia, etc.) and then compare their results, thereby making further contributions to the current study. Third, the study was intentionally used as the measure of progress in ethical understanding without highlighting the difference between intentionality and actual behavior.

Originality/value

Teachers should draw upon the principles of Ren, Yi, and Li, from the Confucian ethics perspective to encourage students to respect the IE for Chinese context students. In addition, emphasis should be placed on the ability of students to build their information ethics cognition through the cognitive information processing learning methods, which can enhance the “accessibility,” “accuracy,” “privacy,” and “IP” cognition of Chinese students in both the FTF and TML platform learning process. This will help to reduce students’ unethical behavior as they advance in their future careers.

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

José‐Rodrigo Córdoba

The aim of this paper is to provide insights into how information (IS) practitioners can develop further their awareness on ethical issues. In the context of the paper…

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to provide insights into how information (IS) practitioners can develop further their awareness on ethical issues. In the context of the paper, awareness means able to identify and deal with issues of ethics in activities of information systems planning, development and use. The paper begins by presenting two areas which IS practitioners can initially explore to develop their ethical awareness. These areas are: (1) IS Methodologies and (2) Codes. The first area emphasises ethical awareness by using methodologies. The second element aims to encourage ethical awareness by following principles. In both areas, self‐reflection is identified as a key element for awareness. Using Foucault’s ideas on power and ethics, a critical understanding of ethical awareness based on self‐reflection is presented to complement ethical awareness developments. This understanding is defined in terms of two elements of inquiry: (a) Power relations analysis and (b) ways of being ethical. With these two elements, the paper argues that IS practitioners can exert their critical thinking and create their own ethics, while still following IS methodologies and codes.

Details

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

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Book part
Publication date: 27 November 2018

Georg von Krogh, Nina Geilinger and Lise Rechsteiner

This chapter seeks to advance the neglected debate on the ethical issues between formal organization and practice arising from innovation in an organization. To that end…

Abstract

This chapter seeks to advance the neglected debate on the ethical issues between formal organization and practice arising from innovation in an organization. To that end, the chapter discusses the sources of possible moral dilemmas for practitioners who belong to a practice with a shared identity, values, and standards of excellence, and who need to conform to new rules of formal organization. While formal organization ideally strives for generalized fairness principles for all organizational members when introducing an innovation, the contextualized nature of practices may lead to particular needs and goals of the practice which can only be recognized as such by practitioners and not by formal management, and to which procedural justice cannot respond. The chapter proposes how practitioners may interpret moral dilemmas, aligned with their practice-based identity and ethical values, and what options for action they may seek. The discussion is illustrated with examples of innovation in the field of information systems design.

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Article
Publication date: 21 March 2008

Mayur S. Desai and Thomas J. von der Embse

The paper addresses the contemporary and very important area of electronic information (EI) management – the ethical dimension and implications. Specifically, this paper…

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7201

Abstract

Purpose

The paper addresses the contemporary and very important area of electronic information (EI) management – the ethical dimension and implications. Specifically, this paper aims to analyze EI activities and management practices, the ethical dilemmas and implications; to relate effectiveness in EI ethics activities in the context of organizational ethics policy and practice, and to suggest a framework for handling ethical dilemmas in managing the major EI activities.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of mid‐ and first‐level managers in six industries was conducted. Subjects were asked to describe organization practices in 11 areas of ethics policy application. Respondent firms were compared according to high and low numbers of ethical safeguards: an ethics code, a credo or values statement, written ethics policies – general and specific, ethics training and development, ready access to ethics guidelines at all levels, and a cohesive, supportive ethical culture.

Findings

EI ethics need to be addressed in the context of the organization's policies and practices. This extends to specific EI activities as well, where the ramifications of misbehavior – or upright behavior – are magnified.

Practical implications

The organization that invests in ethics safeguards provides the needed supports and reaps substantial returns in employee morale, performance and ultimately, the bottom line – profits. In this area of EI management, the atmosphere of trust that results lightens the burden for all involved.

Originality/value

This research has a value that is relevant to the current issues related to the privacy and security of information.

Details

Information Management & Computer Security, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-5227

Keywords

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