Date of Award

12-1-2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Business Administration

First Advisor

Pearson, John

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to identify the forces that impact the intention of employees to misuse the Internet at the workplace, called cyberloafing. Although cyberloafing literature has suggested several antecedents that predict cyberloafing such as job attitudes, organizational characteristics, work stressors, locus of control (Blanchard & Henle, 2008; Henle & Blanchard, 2008; Liberman, Seidman, McKenna, & Buffardi, 2011), this research adopted attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, and organizational citizenship behavior to predict the intention to cyberloaf. Additionally, this research adopted organizational justice and the mechanisms of general deterrence theory as moderating variables to better understand the relationship between attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, organizational citizenship behavior, and the intention to cyberloaf. We believe it is essential to investigate the antecedents of cyberloafing to help predict its existence and occurrence. The existing research, which examined employees' abuse of the Internet, remains greatly atheoretical; thus, it supplies limited insights to researchers as to why cyberloafing continues to take place (Lim, 2002). It is important to recognize what motivates employees to engage in cyberloafing for organizations to implement specific polices and intervention programs to limit or deter its occurrence. This is necessary, as employees' abuse of the Internet can negatively affect an organization through decreased profitability, reduced productivity levels, and exposure to a diverse range of legal liabilities (Liberman et al., 2011). The results of the study showed that an employee's attitude and subjective norm can significantly predict his or her intention to engage in cyberloafing. Both of the dimensions of general deterrence theory (punishment severity and certainty) significantly moderated the relationship between attitude, subjective norm, and the intention to cyberloaf. Additionally, punishment severity significantly moderated the relationship between perceived behavioral control and the intention to cyberloaf. From this study, we concluded that cyberloafing is a social phenomenon that needs to be studied further to fully comprehend the organizational contexts, motivational factors, and consequences. Our study should be analyzed as a positive step toward learning the key components that can influence employees' intentions to abuse the Internet in the workplace.

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