RT Vol XIII Ch. 6: Can Small Business Identify Unethical Business Behavior?
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker®: Vol XIII: Entrepreneurship: Growing the Future of Business


Unethical business behavior by information technology (IT) employees is a major concern for small business owners. In an effort to address this area of concern and to find a solution to this growing problem, business managers struggle with the metrics to identify unethical behavior in IT employees. Seventy IT personnel within the Maryland metropolitan area who work for businesses with Department of Defense (DOD) contracts completed the Defining Issues Test (DIT) and the Ethical IT survey. Multiple regression analysis with Pearson’s r assisted with examining the relationship between ethics training (ET), education level (EL) and employee’s perception of their organizations’ ethical leadership (EP), moral development, and ethical decision-making. The study failed to demonstrate a significant correlation between moral development and ethical decision-making and ET, EL, and EP. Given these findings, business leaders should consider other IT employee variables that may lead to unethical business behavior. When so identified, small business managers can promote positive social change that arises from ethical business behavior, such as continued contractual profits, increased employee morale, sustained productivity, and a decreased unemployment rate.
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