Student assessments of information systems related ethical situations: Do gender and class level matter?

James Morgan, Gregory Neal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Over the past decade a number of high profile ethics scandals in the business community have led to increased focus on business ethics and the responsibility of university business programs to place more emphasis on ethics education. Moreover, information systems (IS) technology has given rise to new and challenging ethical issues. In this study, a set of university students is presented with a number of scenarios in which an individual has engaged in an activity relating to the use of IS which involves some degree of ethical breach. The students' are asked to assess the behavior in each scenario, then these responses are pooled for each student to provide an overall measure how seriously the student views such breaches. The survey data allow us to compare freshman level students in an introductory level IS course to MIS students in a junior/senior level MIS course. Results suggest that students in the higher-level course tend to judge the set of ethical breaches presented to be somewhat more serious than the introductory students. Also, we hypothesize that male students may enter university education at a lower level of ethical maturity than female students. Our empirical results suggest that this is true and further indicate that male students' ethical judgments tend to change more across age during college years and class level than their female counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-130
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Law


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