Thursday, 9 March 2017

A stitch in time saves nine: the role of moral judgement in reducing internet policy violations

an article by Matthew Campbell and Jordan Shropshire (University of South Alabama, USA) and Antonis Stylianou (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA) published in International Journal of Business Information Systems Volume 34 Number 3 (2017)


Internet access has become ubiquitous in many organisations. While employees need this access to perform their duties, many studies report a large percentage of employees use their work internet access in violation of organisational policies. These activities can result in reduced efficiency, increased vulnerability to cyber-attack, and legal liability.

Although firms vary according to their acceptable personal internet use policies, they tend to provide generic usage guidelines which do not provide a clear basis for decision making. We argue that the decision to use company internet resources for personal use is largely a moral decision, a fact which has been previously overlooked in research and in practice.

In this study, we create and test a predictive model which is framed using moral judgement. The model is confirmed using a survey of 787 knowledge workers. Our results suggest that organisations should incorporate moral guidelines in their acceptable internet use policies.

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