CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)


College of Engineering and Computing


Ling Wang

Committee Member

Yair Levy

Committee Member

Inkyoung Hur


Individuals’ reluctance to provide sensitive personal information online could affect the US Governments’ ability to hire and retain qualified personnel for sensitive cleared positions. The aim of this research study was to show how perceived big data security, trust, perceived leadership competency, information sensitivity, privacy concern and reward of a job play a significant role in limiting an individuals’ willingness of disclosing sensitive personal information online. While a significant volume of research has examined information disclosure in the health care field, there has not been any published studies on the willingness of online disclosure in order to attain a US Government job. Therefore, this study was undertaken to address this gap, where the principles of Utility Theory were applied, which posits that people make choices by maximizing their utility function over multiple choices. This study was a quantitative study that collected data through online survey using a 7-Point Likert Scale. Random sampling was used to collect data by sending the survey link through email and through Survey Monkey’s participant outreach program to random participants. Partial Least Square Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) was used to analyze the data collected from a total of 206 responses received. Based on the results, it was found that leadership competency, trust in website and job reward have a significant impact on an individual’s willingness to disclose, while perceived big data security and privacy concern did not. It is recommended that the government thoroughly vet leaders in charge, as increase in perceived leadership competency has shown to have an increase in website trust, eventually leading to an individual’s willingness to disclose. Of particular interest and contrary to previous studies on information disclosure, privacy concern did not show a significant influence on willingness to disclose information online. Similarly, from the three personality traits of extraversion, intellect and conscientiousness, only individuals with the conscientiousness trait, showed to have any significant impact on privacy concern. Finally, the aim of this study was to help the government understand online disclosure reluctance in order to hire and retain qualified personnel for cleared positions and contribute to the body of knowledge.