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Dissertation Abstract

Rationale for Computer Ethics Policies and a Model Policy For the North Carolina Community College System

Regina DeLisse
Regent University

The purpose of this study is to address new sets of issues and potential concerns of organizational leaders within higher education due to the prominence of computers on college campuses. Many of these technology-induced issues involve economic, political, social, operational, and other factors; however, the most important and controversial issues often deal with such legal and ethical matters as security, privacy, and other matters. An emphasis is placed upon the clarification, identification, and confirmation of the practical problems and apprehension regarding computer ethics facing organizational leaders within higher education. Using survey research, insight is provided regarding the extent to which and how college administrators and system administrators within the North Carolina Community College System have dealt with issues of computer ethics and computer ethics policies on their campuses. Behavioral theories, particularly the Theory of Deindividuation, are used to describe the underlying assumptions and behavioral intentions of computer users and serve as a theoretical framework to assist in the development of computer ethics policies and procedures. A model computer ethics policy and accompanying instructional plan and recommendations are presented. These are based on a more comprehensive understanding of key ethical issues and problems and are rooted in significant behavioral assumptions. The policy and instructional plan are proposed as a practical solution to technology-induced ethical dilemmas for educational leaders searching for one.