Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Information Systems

First Advisor

Gurpreet Dhillon


Information security research states that corporate security policy and information security training should be socio-technical in nature and that corporations should consider training as a primary method of protecting their information systems. However, information security policies and training are predominately technical in nature. In addition, managers creating security policies rely heavily on security guidelines, which are also technically oriented. This study created a series of information security training videos that were viewed by four groups of managers. One video discussed the socio-technical aspects of security, another discussed only the social aspects of security, the third detailed only the technical aspects of security, and the fourth was a control video unrelated to information security. Each group was shown the video, and after this viewing, each group’s values toward information security were ascertained and converted into security objectives following Keeney (1992)’s value-focused thinking approach. Each group’s list of security objectives were used as the input to Schmidt (1997)’s ranking Delphi methodology, which yielded a more concise and ranked list of security objectives. The results thus obtained, indicate that manager’s objectives towards information security are affected by the nature and scope of the information security training they receive. Information security policy based on each group’s value-based security objectives indicate that manager’s receiving socio-technical training would produce the strongest information security policy when analyzing the value-focused thinking list of security objectives. However, the quality of security policy decreases when analyzing the ranked Delphi list of security objectives, thus providing mixed results. The theoretical contribution of this research states that technically oriented information security training found in corporations today affects manager’s values and security objectives in a way that leads them to create and support technically oriented security policies, thus ignoring the social aspects of security. The practical contribution of this research states that managers should receive socio-technical information security training as a part of their regular job training, which would affect their values and lead to socio-technical information security policy based on the manager’s socio-technical security objectives. The methodological contribution of this research demonstrates the successful use of the value-focused thinking approach as the input to the ranking of the Delphi methodology.


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Is Part Of

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Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

July 2010