Similarities in Business and IT Professional Ethics: The Need for and Development of A Comprehensive Code of Ethics

Journal of Business Ethics 62 (1):73-85 (2005)
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Abstract

The study of business ethics has led to the development of various principles that are the foundation of good and ethical business practices. A corresponding study of Information Technology (IT) professionals’ ethics has led to the conclusion that good ethics in the development and uses of information technology correspond to the basic business principle that good ethics is good business. Ergo, good business ethics practiced by IT professionals is good IT ethics and vice versa. IT professionals are professionals in businesses; a difficulty presented to these professionals, however, is the number and diversity of codes of ethics to which they may be held. Considering the existence of several formalized codes of ethics prepared by various IT professionals’ associations, a more harmonized approach seems more reasonable. This paper attempts to present a review of the purpose of codes of ethics, the persons who should be covered by such codes and to organize codes of ethics for business in general and IT professionals in particular and to make the argument that, once again, good ethics is good business practice, regardless of the profession or occupation concerned.

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