The aim of this study is to examine incompetence in the Australian ICT workplace from the perspective of Australian ICT professionals. The data collection for this project included conducting a quantitative survey, conducting qualitative interviews and conducting focus group discussions with key informants. Of the 2,315 respondents who participated in the survey, the MRF analysis revealed that incompetence was ranked fifth from the top of a list of the 57 most common ethical problems experienced by ICT professionals (N=750, 35.9%). An inspection of the results of the cross tabulations revealed that 34.8% described their occupational category as manager and 29.1% indicated they were consultants. The GLM has found a significant relationship between the choice of incompetence and occupation (Deviance = 23.15, Df = 6, P=0.0007) suggesting occupation, among other things, does predict the choice of incompetence. The findings from the qualitative interviews are consistent with the above findings. A cross referencing of the interviewees responses that addressed the issue of incompetence during the interviews against their occupation has revealed that consultants had more to say on the topic than any other occupation (20.8% or 10 of the 48 references). This is followed by managers who accounted for 14.6% (7 of the 48 references). These findings indicate that the experienced professionals have a greater concern about incompetence than others; an observation that the findings from the focus group interviews have also confirmed. Obtaining such findings would not have been possible had only one method been used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-17
Number of pages7
JournalComputers and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015

Grant Number

  • LP130100808


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