Journal of Information Systems Education


The explosion in the use of computers has strengthened the need to address ethical issues in information systems (IS) education, and several frameworks have been expounded. However, little empirical research has been undertaken on their effects. This is a key problem: If IS scholars do not study the effect of information systems on IS students, IS ethics education suffers. This could mean that future professionals will neglect morally significant issues in their work. We carried out an interpretive empirical study on the effects and implications of an education program based on three theories of universality. The theory of integrative complexity was applied to see if the level of complexity of thought increased owing to a theorybased IS ethics teaching intervention. This intervention was based on pre-then-post testing with two groups, the experimental group receiving instruction in three versions of universality (n=79), and the control group (n=16). Our results show that the change in integrative complexity varied significantly between the two groups, with the experimental group making significant progress compared to the control group. The application of the universality thesis had a positive effect on deliberation skills among 43 percent of the experimental group. These results carry implications for IS education and research.



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