ETHICAL DECISION MAKING IN AN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CONTEXT: INFLUENCES ON THE BANKERS IN SRI LANKA
AbstractUse of Information Technology in business has revolutionized over the last few decades and more businesses increasingly rely on their computerized information systems to handle their business operations. Studies indicate that the unethical behaviour of the information workers, who misuse computers and information systems of the organization, has caused serious consequences with billions of losses to the business. In information technology research, much emphasis has recently been given to understand the ethical behaviour of individuals and the factors that could influence such behaviour. This research study aimed to recognize specific factors that might influence the ethical/unethical behaviour intention of the bankers of the Licensed Commercial Banks (LCBs) in Sri Lanka, when they are faced with ethical dilemmas while using IT. A questionnaire instrument primarily based on ethical scenarios in IT was administered among 307 bankers of leading LCBs in Sri Lanka, using simple random sampling. Data was analyzed using univariate, bivariate and multivariate analyses. According to the bservations across all scenarios, banker’s Attitude and the Personal Normative Beliefs significantly explained the banker’s intention to behave ethically/unethically. It is important to note that the significance of the factors that influence the behaviour intention varied along with the ethical scenario faced by the individual as well as the perceived importance towards the particular ethical scenario in question. Meaningful code of ethics, ethics training with the use of fictitious ethical scenarios and effective reinforcement mechanisms were recognized as the recommendations for the bank managements in order to curb the undesired misuse of IT. This research concluded that in addition to the surveillance and control enforced in the LCBs, deterrent measures should also be adopted to encourage and promote ethical behaviour among the bankers in Sri Lanka.
Key Words: Behaviour Intention, Ethical Dilemma, Perceived Importance, Planned Behaviour, Reasoned Action
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