Ethics and the Professions

  • Joseph Migga Kizza
Part of the Undergraduate Texts in Computer Science book series (UTCS)


In our study of ethics and the professions we focus on four themes: evolution of professions, the making of an ethical professional, the professional decision-making process, and whistle-blowing. These four themes cover all the activities of professional life. First we look at the beginnings of professions, describe the characteristics of professionals, and discuss how these characteristics are supported by commitment, integrity, responsibility, and accountability. We then describe the ways professionals are made: through both formal education and informal unstructured in-service. When professionals enter the work force, their duties involve decision making. We therefore look at the process of decision making, the problems involved, and the guilt felt about what are perceived as wrong decisions and how to avoid them. Professionals in their working environment encounter problems every day that require them to check in with their moral code. We focus on whistle-blowing as one of those areas that requires continual consultation with individual morality and discuss how it affects professions.


Ethical Professional Public Attention Professional Code Professional Decision Personal Code 
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Further Reading

  1. Johansson, Conny, and Lennart Ohlsson. “An Attempt to Teach Professionalism in Engineering Education.”Google Scholar
  2. Available:
  3. Thomas, J. W. “Integrity as Professionalism: Ethics and Leadership in Practice.” Available:

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph Migga Kizza
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and Electrical EngineeringUniversity of Tennessee at ChattanoogaChattanoogaUSA

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