Motivating the Insider to Protect Organizational Information Assets: Evidence from Protection Motivation Theory and Rival Explanations

The Dewald Roode Workshop in Information Systems Security 2011, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, September 22–23, pp. 1–51

52 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2013  

Clay Posey

The University of Alabama

Tom Roberts

University of Kansas - School of Business

Paul Benjamin Lowry

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Pamplin College of Business

James Courtney

Independent

Becky Bennett

Louisiana Tech University - Department of Management and Information Systems

Date Written: September 1, 2011

Abstract

This research investigates the factors that motivate employees to protect their organizations from information security threats via protection-motivated behaviors (PMBs). A model founded on Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) and several rival explanations is assessed using data from 380 employees from a wide variety of industries in the U.S. Several important findings for behavioral information security research emerged. First, the basic assumptions of PMT hold in an organizational security context whereby employees weigh the potential benefits and risks associated with threats before engaging in PMBs. Intrinsic maladaptive rewards, response efficacy, and response costs effectively influence employees’ protection motivation levels; however, extrinsic maladaptive rewards and threat vulnerability and severity do not. Moreover, fear does not play a significant role in motivating insiders to engage in PMBs. The rival explanations for protection motivation of job satisfaction and management support significantly influence employees’ protection motivation, whereas sanctions and financial incentives do not.

Keywords: Protection-motivated behaviors, protection motivation theory, threat appraisal, coping appraisal, MIMIC model, job satisfaction, management support, structural equation modeling

Suggested Citation

Posey, Clay and Roberts, Tom and Lowry, Paul Benjamin and Courtney, James and Bennett, Becky, Motivating the Insider to Protect Organizational Information Assets: Evidence from Protection Motivation Theory and Rival Explanations (September 1, 2011). The Dewald Roode Workshop in Information Systems Security 2011, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, September 22–23, pp. 1–51. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2273594

Clay Posey

The University of Alabama ( email )

Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
United States

Tom Roberts

University of Kansas - School of Business ( email )

1300 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66045
United States

Paul Benjamin Lowry (Contact Author)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Pamplin College of Business ( email )

1016 Pamplin Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

James Courtney

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Becky Bennett

Louisiana Tech University - Department of Management and Information Systems ( email )

United States

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