The effects of sociocultural factors on the information ethics of undergraduate students: A literature review

Mariam Al-Nuaimi, Ali Al-Aufi*, Abdelmajid Bouazza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to evaluate the literature dealing with the sociocultural influences on undergraduate students’ information ethics (IE) cognition and behaviour. Much of the reviewed literature draws on the experiences of countries that differ in terms of cultural and economic aspects. Design/methodology/approach: This structured review uses an integrative approach to synthesize the existing literature relevant to the factors in question. Correspondingly, limitations, agreements and disagreements within the relevant literature are indicated. A set of relevance criteria is developed, and analytical information for each study is then organized and summarized into aggregate findings. Findings: Despite the significant explanatory power of the reciprocal correlation between individualism and economic wealth to predict declines in unethical information practices, IE studies persist in producing inconsistent findings in this regard. Thus, further facets of cross-cultural differences should be addressed beyond the individualistic/collectivistic typology. Originality/value: This paper has pedagogical worth for students, researchers and developers of IE educational programs at the tertiary level. It also possesses methodological value for studying the sociocultural effects on the IE behaviour of computing professionals within the broader context of global IE research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-398
Number of pages21
JournalLibrary Review
Issue number6-7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 9 2017


  • Academic dishonesty
  • Digital piracy
  • Information ethics
  • Information ethics behaviour
  • Information ethics cognition
  • Sociocultural factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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