Spamming or Hamming?: An Empirical Investigation of the Moral Intensity of E-mail Spamming Behaviour

J.-H. Tang, R.E. Johanson, and T.J. Hu (Taiwan)


E-mail spam, Issue Contingency Model, moral intensity


Spamming behaviour is a critical, but oft-overlooked topic in the field of modern electronic communications. Using Jones’s Issue Contingency framework [1] as its theoretical foundation, the present study tested empirically the moral intensity of three types of spam (virus, pornographic and commercial junk mail) with 172 IS majors at a relatively-new university in Taiwan. Results indicate that the information transmitted via the computer spam contains material of varying moral intensity, with virus mail being the most serious, followed by pornographic and commercial junk mail. Further applications of the Issue Contingency Model are discussed as well.

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