Personality and Motivational Factors Predicting Internet Abuse at Work


The present study investigates whether a personality variable (Locus of Control) and motivational factors rooted in Uses & Gratifications theory (the desire for virtual community, beautiful websites, maintaining interpersonal relations, and the desire for diversion & entertainment) predict Internet abuse at work in the form of shopping, searching for information unrelated to work, and communicating with friends. Data were analyzed for 320 participants, all of whom were employed and had access to computers at work. Results indicate that external Locus of Control predicts all three forms of Internet abuse. The desire to use the Internet for diversion and entertainment purposes predicts only online shopping and searching for non-work-related information. Results suggest that factors predicting some forms of Internet abuse may not predict other forms of Internet abuse. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

locus of control; uses and gratifications theory; Internet abuse; cyberloafing
Author biographies

Jengchung V. Chen

Author photo Jengchung Victor Chen is an Associate Professor in the Institute of International Management at National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan. He graduated from the University of Hawaii with Ph.D. degree in CIS in 2002. He got M.S. in Computer Science from Polytechnic Institute, New York University and M.S. in Management and Policy from Harriman School, State University of New York – Stony Brook. Dr. Chen has published more than 35 articles in refereed journals such as Information & Management, Decision Support Systems, European Journal of Information Systems, CyberPsychology & Behavior, and Journal of Database Management . He serves as the President of International Chinese Information Systems Association in 2010-2011. He is also the President-Elect of the Association for Chinese Management Educators and the Conference Chair of the 21st International Conference on the Pacific Rim Management in 2011.

William H. Ross

Author photo William Ross (Ph.D., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, University of Illinois) is Professor of Management at the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. He teaches courses in Human Resource Management, Organizational Behavior, Negotiation, and Labor-Management Relations. He has published articles on managerial implications of the Internet and other forms of technology (such as electronic monitoring), trust, and procedural design (such as third-party dispute resolution procedures). His articles have appeared in numerous journals including Academy of Management Review, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Database Management, S.A.M. Advanced Management Journal, Journal of Information Privacy and Security, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Personnel Psychology. He serves on the editorial board and as an ad hoc reviewer for several journals.

Hsiao-Han Yang

Author photo Hsiao-Han Yang now works at Taipei Transportation Office, Taiwan and specializes in cable car transportation. She has been working in the field of transportation for five years since earning her MBA degree from National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan.

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