An integrative model of information security and trust in socio-technical environments

  • Duncan Greaves

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

Abstract

The need for cybersecurity measures is evidenced by the myriad information security and digital trust breaches in modern socio-technical systems. The need to understand and counteract the uncertainty and risk associated with trust in digital environments triggered this research. The enquiry explored the role of information security in the formation of trust relationships and the extent to which it influences the production of trust.

A mixed methods design incorporated the development of a 45-item scaled survey instrument. Data were collected from 405 members of the UK general public using an online questionnaire and were analysed using exploratory factor analysis (EFA), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modelling (SEM) to validate the research model and to test the research hypotheses.

The findings revealed that information security has a strong relationship with reputation, a key mediating factor in both task delegation and trust formation. Trust is also shown to have a strong relationship with communication quality and influences
behavioural outcomes. The findings are stable across the three research contexts of Retail, Banking and Healthcare that were investigated.

This research extends the Theory of Planned Behaviour to include information security as a component of perceived behavioural control, and extends the Social Exchange Theory to include an appreciation of security values as motivation for reciprocated trust relationships.

The management implications of this work include insights into the role of information security in organisational reputation building and outlines several possible avenues for further academic research.
Date of Award2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHarjit Sekhon (Supervisor) & Alexeis Garcia-Perez (Supervisor)

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