This study examines how different groups (students, full-time employees and IT professionals) respond to ethical IT decisions. Each group operates within a particular ethical work climate, socializing ethical and unethical, professional and or unprofessional behaviors facing ethical IT dilemmas. Two-hundred and forty respondents across three groups assessed two vignettes depicting ethical IT dilemmas, one of a programmer hacking into bank software and another of an employee using computer equipment for personal work. The results suggest that for students and IT professionals, levels of professionalism was linked to ethical and whistleblowing behavior, but this relationship was absent for other non-IT employees regardless of the ethical dilemma. In addition, we find overwhelming support for the link between ethical work climates involving laws, rules, and codes and levels of professionalism for all groups, but other work climates were only salient for non-IT professionals.
Schilhavy, Richard A.M. and King, Ruth C., "Who Says Professionals Are Ethical? A Cross-sectional Analysis of Ethical Decision Making, Attitudes and Action" (2010). AMCIS 2010 Proceedings. 568.