Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


John Hannon


There has been a rise in the last decade of documented unethical business behavior by information technology (IT) employees. Over the last several years, business managers have tried to address this area of concern to find a solution to this growing problem, but they have struggled with the metrics to identify unethical behavior in IT employees. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of 3 employee constructs-ethics training (ET), education level (EL), and employee's perception of their organizations' ethical leadership (EP)-on whether an IT employee would behave in an unethical manner. The theoretical framework for the study was Kohlberg's moral development model. Seventy IT personnel within the Maryland metropolitan area who work for businesses with DOD contracts completed the Defining Issues Test and the Ethical IT survey. Multiple regression analysis with Pearson's r was used to examine the relationship between ET, EL and EP, moral development, and ethical decision making. No constructs were significant. The study multiple regression model with F (3, 66) = .570, p = .637, R-² = .028 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, DOD business managers will be able to promote the 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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