An Empirical Investigation of Decision Making in IT-Related Dilemmas: Impact of Positive and Negative Consequence of Information

Given the rising IT security and privacy concerns, organizations are increasing their spending to strengthen technical protections. However, the problem of individuals wanting to find ways to gain access to IT resources improperly remains. To gain a better understanding of individuals' intentions to behave unacceptably in IT-related situations with conflicting interests, an information focus approach is adopted and the effects of information regarding possible consequences on their intentions is empirically investigated through a vignette-based survey. The findings not only confirm the deterrent role of information about possible negative consequence in these situations but also reveal that such influence is greater in situations involving software products than in situations involving data and for individuals with a higher level of fundamental concern for the welfare of others. Furthermore, this study reveals how the influence of consequence information on the intention to perform an unacceptable behavior may be dependent on individual factors and situational factors.