Believe It or Not: Employees Intend to Comply with Information Security Policy Because of the Desire for Trade-Offs

Hung Pin Shih, Kee Hung Lai, Xitong Guo, T. C.E. Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Most theories of information security policy (ISP), except a few focused on the insider-centric view, are grounded in the control-centric perspective, and most ISP compliance models stem from Western countries. Regulatory focus theory (RFT) proposes two modes of motivational regulation, promotion and prevention focused are supposed to motivate employee compliance in a trade-off. Culture is crucial to the study of ISP that puts control over human connections. Chinese guanxi, a specific dimension of Chinese culture, is better understood underlying the trust-distrust frame. To bridge the theoretical gap between the control-centric and the insider-centric perspectives, the authors develop an ISP behavioral model by taking an integrated approach from RFT and the trust-distrust frame. They employed scenario-based events about information security misconduct in the workplace to examine employees’ compliance intention and non-violation choice of ISP upon counterfactual thinking. The empirical results improve the theoretical and practical implications of security practices.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Global Information Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Counterfactual Thinking
  • Employee Compliance
  • Guanxi Practices
  • Information Security Policy
  • Non-Violation Choice
  • Promotion and Prevention Regulations
  • Trust-Distrust Frame

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management


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