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January 19, 2012

IS students to present China research findings at national conference

Four student research teams from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Department of Information Systems will present papers at the 2012 National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR), March 29-31, 2012 at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. UW-Eau Claire student papers were reviewed by a faculty committee at Weber State University and selected from a pool of more than 3,500 submissions.

The following UW-Eau Claire students will present papers at NCUR:

  • Michael Abbott and Laura Spelbrink, both information systems majors, will present "IT Ethics in China and the United States"
  • Samantha Gleason, a philosophy and religious studies major, and Wai Ling Ho, an actuarial science major and information systems minor, will present "Cross Cultural and Demographic Differences in Stages of Moral Development in IT Ethics Context: Comparing US and China"
  • Thang Nguyen, an accounting and information systems double major, will present "Regional Difference in Ethics Decision Making: A Study of IT Pre-professionals in China"
  • Donald Tsun Kwan Siu, an accounting and information systems double major, will present "Technology Impact on IT Ethics Decision Making in China”.

Dr. Bruce W. N. Lo, UW-Eau Claire professor emeritus of information systems, is the students’ faculty research mentor.

In May 2011, Lo and the UW-Eau Claire student researchers traveled to China to study how Chinese people make ethical decisions regarding information technology. See box below for an explanation of the summer research project. The findings from the data collected by the students were used for the research papers they submitted to NCUR.

Established in 1987, NCUR is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity in all fields of study done in partnership with faculty or other mentors as a vital component of high education. For more information, visit the NCUR website at

IT Ethics Decision Making in Emerging Technological Economy: Remixing of Traditional and Modern Values in China

China, the second largest economy in the world, experienced tremendous growth in its information and communication technology over the past decade. As an emerging technological economy, China faces a variety of ethical, legal, human, and societal challenges.

The research study,"IT Ethics Decision Making in Emerging Technological Economy: Remixing of Traditional and Modern Values in China", investigated how Chinese people in different regions of China use ethical reasoning to make decisions regarding information technology. The student-faculty collaborative research study also examined what impact, if any, modern advances in technology had on traditional Chinese values.

The UW-Eau Claire student team traveled to China in May 2011 to conduct research in four cities located in southern, central and eastern China. Changshu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Wuhan were chosen as research sites by the group for the community’s geographic location and its varying degree of western influence. Collaborating with research partners at Changshu Institute of Technology, Hong Kong Institute of Technology, Jinan University (Guangzhou), and Wuhan University of Science and Technology, students surveyed and/or personally interviewed 950 local subjects. Responses were analyzed in the light of both eastern and western ethical values and the impact of technology on the subjects. Results were compared with results from similar studies conducted on subjects in the United States.

The findings from the UW-Eau Claire study are expected to provide a greater understanding of how traditional cultural and/or value beliefs may be shaped by globalization influences in the digital age.

The student research team has presented their results to UW-Eau Claire computer science and information systems classes. They have submitted four papers to the 2012 National Conference on Undergraduate Research, and they will present two poster papers at the 2012 UW-Eau Claire Student Research Day. A final paper is planned for the May 2012 Conference of the Midwest Association of Information Systems.

The UW-Eau Claire student research project was supported with funds under the UW-Eau Claire International Fellows Research Program provided by the Center for International Education and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, GLOBE CHINDIA Program, College of Business, Department of Information Systems, and Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.

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