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An investigation of ethical perceptions of public sector MIS professionals



Management information system (MIS) professionals have a central role in technology development, determining how technology is used in organizations, and the effects it has on clients and society. MIS stakeholders have expressed concern regarding MIS professional's role in computer crime, and security of electronically stored information. It is recognized that MIS professionals must make decisions based on their professional ethics. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Data Processing Management Association (DPMA) have developed codes of ethics to help guide practitioners with ethical professional decision making. In this study, a model was developed from the combined ACM and DPMA codes of ethics and used in the construction of a survey instrument. The survey was conducted using public sector MIS professionals, and findings relative to the influences that codes of ethics, ethical enforcement systems, and membership in professional organizations has on ethical perception were studied. In addition, the influence that ethical obligation to particular constituencies had on respondents' ethical attitudes was also investigated. The study indicated that ethical obligation of public sector MIS professionals is stronger for management and employers than for peers, society, or clients. Reference: Udas, Ken, William L. Fuerst, and David B. Paradice. “An Investigation of Ethical Perceptions of Public Sector MIS Professionals.” Journal of Business Ethics 15, no. 7 (July 1996): 721–34.