Computing Reviews
Today's Issue Hot Topics Search Browse Recommended My Account Log In
Review Help
Making ethical decisions
Kreie J., Cronan T. Communications of the ACM43 (12):66-71,2000.Type:Article
Date Reviewed: Apr 1 2001

The authors conclude that people rely heavily on their personal values when deciding what is ethical or unethical behavior. This is not terribly surprising. So how do business codes of ethics affect ethical behavior? The authors go further to conclude that, when the ethical issue in a given situation is not considered of great importance, people are more likely to consider company standards. So, all other things being equal, employees will do what the company thinks is appropriate, but if they view the issue as significant, then they are more likely to do what they think is right.

I have fairly serious reservations about studying ethics empirically, because empirical studies only tell you what the respondents claim they would do or how they claim they would judge a given action. They do not advance your understanding of what is appropriate behavior, or determine what a person would really do when faced with a specific ethical problem. This latter point is exacerbated when researchers study university students, because what they claim and what they would actually do are even more likely to be inconsistent.

Reservations aside, I find the conclusions of this study to be encouraging because, after all, people ought to think for themselves in important issues, and it really does not hurt to go along on issues of little importance.

Reviewer:  J. M. Artz Review #: CR124916
Bookmark and Share
  Featured Reviewer  
Ethics (K.4.1 ... )
Human Factors (H.1.2 ... )
Professional Ethics (K.7.4 )
Would you recommend this review?
Other reviews under "Ethics": Date
Ethical and social issues in the information age
Kizza J., Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., Secaucus, NJ, 2002.  232, Type: Book (9780387954219)
May 6 2003
The error of futurism: prediction and computer ethics
Horner D. ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society 32(7): 42004. Type: Article
Apr 30 2004
Epistemic value theory and information ethics
Fallis D. Minds and Machines 14(1): 101-117, 2004. Type: Article
Aug 6 2004

E-Mail This Printer-Friendly
Send Your Comments
Contact Us
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.   Copyright 1999-2023 ThinkLoud®
Terms of Use
| Privacy Policy