CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

College of Engineering and Computing

Advisor

Yair Levy

Committee Member

Marlyn Littman

Committee Member

William Hafner

Abstract

With the increasing use of the Internet, new challenges are presented to employees in the workplace. Employees spend time during work hours on non-work related activities including visiting e-commerce Websites, managing personal email accounts, and engaging in e-banking. These types of actions in the workplace are known as cyberslacking. Cyberslacking affects the employees’ productivity, presents legal concerns, and undermines the security of the organization’s network. This research study addressed the problem of cyberslacking in the public sector, by assessing the ethical severity of cyberslacking activities, as well as how employees perceived that the frequency of such activities occurred by their co-workers. Participants from public sector agencies were asked to report about their amount of time spent and frequency of cyberslacking, what they report about their co-workers’ amount of time spent and frequency of cyberslacking, as well as their perceived ethical severity of cyberslacking in the workplace. First, an expert panel, of 10 cybersecurity subject matter experts, was used to initially validate the instrument, followed by quantitative data collection. This study assessed the measures via a Web-based anonymous survey. Following pre-analysis data screening, this study used a combination of descriptive statistics, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), as well as Ordinal Logistics Regression (OLR) and Multiple Linear Regression (MLR) analyses to address the research questions (RQs). Comparisons of the measures were also conducted. Results from 183 participants indicate that employees report their co-workers to engage in cyberslacking significantly higher than what they reported about themselves, and ethical severity of cyberslacking was not reported to be high.

The problem of personal misuse of the Internet in the workplace was the focal point of this research study. The Internet facilitates productive communication in the workplace. However, it also poses a significant challenge to employees given its availability to enable non-work related activities. As such, it was necessary to examine both the perceptions about the ethical severity of IS misuse in the workplace and the actual self reported amount of cyberslacking by employees, compared to what they claim their co- workers are engaged in, especially in the public sector. Finally, this research study attempted to contribute to the Information Systems body of knowledge by empirically identifying the aforementioned relationships. Discussions and implications for future research are provided.

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