Professionalism and Ethics: Is Education the Bridge?

Professionalism and Ethics: Is Education the Bridge?

Zeenath Reza Khan (University of Wollongong in Dubai, UAE), Ghassan al-Qaimari (Fujairah College, UAE) and Stephen D. Samuel (Mittal Steels (IT Services), UAE)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-114-8.ch010
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In today’s fast-paced world, where more and more emphasis is being placed on ethics and ethical behavior in the workplace, the IT industry remains such an area where little or no evidence has been presented to sustain claims by employees on whether preconceived notions of ethics lead to professionalism among employees. To this effect, this chapter tests the knowledge of IT professionals on ethical issues such as usage of e-mail, net surfing, net privacy, copyrights, and others as recognized by professional societies such as Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE), and Australian Computer Society (ACS). The study further investigates the root cause of unethical behavior at workplaces as pre-knowledge, or knowledge gained through high school and university education. The chapter follows a grounded surveying approach to find out students’ extent of awareness towards ethical issues such as cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, software piracy, misusing the telephone, or Internet access; thus correlating the findings to suggest causality between “student education and consciousness of ethical issues” to the “awareness of ethical issues among future IT professionals.” Among others, the chapter also proposes suggestions to school and university curricula to include subjects that highlight ethical issues in the workplace.

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