Perceived Possibility of Disclosure and Ethical Decision Making in an Information Technology Context

  • A. Bolhari Information Technology Management Department, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
  • R. Radfar Department of Industrial Management, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
  • M. Alborzi Information Technology Management Department, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
  • A. Poorebrahimi Department of Management and Accounting, Islamic Azad University Karaj, Iran
  • M. Dehghani School of Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Keywords: information technology, business intelligence, ethical decision making, perceived possibility of disclosure, IT ethics


To date, substantial research studies have been conducted in the field of ethical decision making in many disciplines. However, ethical efforts in the context of information technology have been limited. In this research, a focus has been put on modeling ethical decision making in cyberspace with emphasis on business intelligence scenarios. The model is comprised of six exogenous and two endogenous constructs, among them seven were delicately selected from valid and empirically tested ethical models and the eighth one is developed by the authors. After pre-testing the model by experts, reliability, convergent and discriminant validities were approved. Data were collected from 188 IT personnel in the banking industry of Iran. Results revealed that the perceived importance of an IT ethical issue, ethical judgment, ethical obligation, perceived possibility of disclosure, ego strength, and locus of control directly impact ethical intention. However, no impact from law on ethical obligation and codes of ethics on ethical intention was observed. As shown, a higher possibility on acting unethically occurs when the person feels confident that his/her actions will go unnoticed.


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