Computers, Information Technology, the Internet, Ethics, Society and Human Values

Philip Pecorino, Ph.D.

Queensborough Community College,  CUNY

Chapter 10 Information Technologies and

Professionalism and Professional Codes



Professional Ethics

Professional Responsibility

Unintentional Power in the Design of Computing Systems – Chuck Huff

Informatic and Professional Responsibility – Donald Gotterbarn

 The Ethics of Software Development Project Management – Simon Rogerson

Professionalism in Computing: Digital Library - Jan Lee at Virginia Tech Contains the Professionalism in Computing course Web, the "digital library" portion that provides access to the special topics pertinent to the studies of the responsibilities and expectations of a computer scientist

The Ethics of Web Site Engineering - Chris MacDonald  A paper on the the ethics of Web Site Engineering

Licensing of Programmers and Software Engineers

Professional Responsibility Resources

Voluntary Professional Codes

Codes of Ethics on the World Wide Web

International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, a code of ethics

ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

IEEE Code of Ethics   IEE an organization of computer professionals. Founded in 1946, it is the largest of the 39 societies of the IEEE.


Software Engineering Code of Ethics and Professional Practice   A joint ACM/IEEE Computer Society effort

ACM Position Papers on Software Engineering and Licensing


Codes of Ethics links on the web site of the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility

Codes for Computing and Information Systems

American Health Information Management Association

American Society for Information Systems

Association of Agricultural Computing Companies

Association of Computing Machinery

Association of Independant Information Professionals

Association of Records Managers and Administrators

Association of Service and Computer Dealers International

Associazione Italiana per I'Informatica

Australian Computer Society

Babson College Computing

British Computer Society

Business Software Alliance

Canadian Information Processing Society

Carnegie Mellon University, Computing and Information Resources

Centro de la Informatica, Telematica y medios Afines

Cheney Associates

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

Computer Society of India

Computer Society of South Africa

Data Processing Management Association

Dutch Association of Information Scientists

East Carolina University Computing Code

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society

IEEE-CS/ACM Joint Task Force on Software Engineering Ethics and Professional Practices

International Medical Informatics Association

International Programmers Guild

Internet America

Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (ISC)^2

Japan Information Service Industry Association (JISA)

Society of American Archivists

System Administrator's Guild (SAGE)

The SANS Institute

TAMU Computing and Information Services

Usability Professionals’ Association

USENIX Advanced Computing Systems Association

Videotex Industry Association

Zimbabwe Computer Society

Commentary on Codes of Ethics or Conduct

"Computer Ethics: Codes, Commandments, and Quandries," Julie Van Camp 

Commentary on “The Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics” by N. Ben Fairweather


Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at IIT  (CSEP)

Introduction An introduction that covers the debate about the function and value of codes of ethics.

Davis, Michael. "Thinking like an Engineer: The Place of a Code of Ethics in the Practice of a Profession". Philosophy and Public Affairs 20.2 (1991): 150-167.

Using Codes of Ethics This guide offers a context for using a code of ethics by considering a sample case.

Writing a Code of Ethics Find here some print and online sources for writing a code of ethics for your organization.

Authoring a code: Observations on process and organization This paper was written by Andrew Olson, who worked on the project just after completing his undergraduate degree.

Bibliography: Books, Articles and Cases This list of materials, many of which offer case studies, will help you use your profession's code.

CSEP's newsletter, Perspectives, featured a Fall 1999 issue on Writing a Code of Ethics

The Ethics Resource Center has a toolkit available for use. When used for commercial purposes, a nominal license fee is required.

Articles on Code Of Ethics, compiled by Chris MacDonald

Creating A Code Of Ethics for Your Organization, with many suggested books, by Chris MacDonald

Ethics Resource Center, Products and Publications page

Business for Social Responsibility's Codes of Ethics article

Complete Guide to Ethics Management: An Ethics Toolkit for Managers by Carter McNamara

Developing a Code of Conduct for a Corporate Board of Directors: A Roadmap by Frank Narvan.

Interpreting Your Code article by Cornelius von Baeyer, outlining principles and approaches for using a code of ethics within an organization, with the Canadian Council for International Co-operation as the case study

Recommendations for Developing Codes of Conduct, sites from Virginia Tech

"Globalizing a Code of Ethics" by Cheryl Raven (2004), from the Ethics Resource Center.

Institute of Business Ethics based in the United Kingdom, has a codes of conduct page with a number of resources for developing a code of ethics for large and small businesses.

International Business Ethics Review, newsletter of the International Business Ethics Institute, has published a Winter 2004 issue (Vol. 7, #1) with a special focus on "Organizational Codes of Ethics", with suggestions on creating an effective electronic code of conduct, as well as guidelines for non-profits, among other useful articles. Also see "Writing an Effective Global Code of Conduct" by Lori Tansey Martens in Vol. 8, Issue 1 of The International Business Ethics Review.

The Journal of Mass Media Ethics offered a 2002 special issue on Codes of Ethics (link offers table of contents, with abstracts, only).

"Can You Improve your Code of Ethics?" American Society of Newspaper Editors, October 25, 2000.

"Twenty Questions to Ask about Your Code of Conduct". Joe Murphy and Win Swenson. Ethikos and Corporate Conduct Quarterly (July/August 2003).



Computer Society Codes from Around the World



  1. Codes of Conduct for Partnership in Governance: Texts and Commentaries. Edited by Tatsuro Kunungi and Martha Schweitz, Tokyo, Japan: The United Nations University, 1999.
  2. Creating a Workable Company Code of Ethics. Washington D.C.: Ethics Resource Center, 1990. (Second edition, 2003). Order
  3. Fairweather, N. Ben. "No, PAPA: Why Incomplete Codes of Ethics are Worse than None at All", in Ethics in the Age of Information Technology, G. Collste, (ed). Linkoeping, Sweden: Center for Applied Ethics, Linkoeping Universitet, 2000.
  4. Frankel, Mark S. "Professional Codes: Why, How, and with What Impact?" Journal of Business Ethics 8 (1989): 109-115.
  5. Gaumnitz, Bruce R. and John C. Lere. "Contents of Codes of Ethics of Professional Business Organizations in the United States". Journal of Business Ethics 35.1 (January 2002): 35-49. Link to abstract
  6. Implementation and Enforcement of Codes of Ethics in Corporations and Associations. Washington D.C.: Ethics Resource Center, 1980.
  7. Kaptein, Muel. "Business Codes of Multinational Firms: What Do They Say?" Journal of Business Ethics 50.1 (March 2004): 13–31. Link to abstract
  8. Kaptein, Muel and Johan Wempe. "Twelve Gordian Knots When Developing an Organizational Code of Ethics". Journal of Business Ethics 17.8 (June 1998): 853-69. Link to abstract
  9. Molander, E. A. "A Paradigm for Design, Promulgation and Enforcement of Ethical Codes". Journal of Business Ethics 6 (November 1987): 619-626.
  10. Tucker, Lewis, Vlasis Staghakopolous, and Charles H. Patti. "A Multidimensional Assessment of Ethical Codes: The Professional Business Association Perspective". Journal of Business Ethics 19.3 (April 1999): 287–300. Link to abstract

SOCIETIES and Organizations

The Association for Computing Machinery

The Australian Computer Society

The British Computer Society

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

Professional Accountability Section of the Website of the Online Ethics Center

Professionalism Section of the Website of the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility

The Software Engineering Ethics Research Institute SEERI  at East Tennessee State University at Johnson City, TN, USA
 Don Gotterbarn, East Tennessee State University  Promotes the development of ethical and professional practices that address the impacts of software engineering and related technologies on society, through research, education, and consultation with individuals, organizations and governments.


Web Surfer's Caveat: These are class notes, intended to comment on readings and amplify class discussion. They should be read as such. They are not intended for publication or general distribution.                @copyright 2006 Philip A. Pecorino                       

Last updated 8-2006                                                              Return to Table of Contents