Volume 4, 2016: Issue 2

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An empirical assessment of employee cyberslacking in the public sector: The social engineering threat


Wilnelia Hernández, Nova Southeastern University, USA
Yair Levy, Nova Southeastern University, USA
Michelle M. Ramim, Middle Georgia State University, USA


Employees spend time during work hours on non-work related activities including visiting ecommerce Websites, managing personal email accounts, and engaging in e-banking. These types of actions in the workplace are known as cyberslacking. Cyberslacking affects employees’ productivity, presents legal concerns, and undermines the security of the employer’s network. This research study addressed the problem of cyberslacking in the public sector, by assessing the ethical severity of cyberslacking activities, as well as how employees perceived that the frequency of such activities occurred by their co-workers. Participants from public sector agencies were asked to report about their amount of time spent and frequency of cyberslacking, what they report about their co-workers’ amount of time spent and frequency of cyberslacking, as well as their perceived ethical severity of cyberslacking in the workplace. Comparisons of the measures were also conducted. Results from 183 participants indicate that employees report their co-workers to engage in cyberslacking significantly higher than what they reported about themselves, while ethical severity of cyberslacking was not considered to be high. Discussions and implications for future research are provided.


Cyberslacking, cybersecurity, social engineering threat, public sector, ethical severity, employee productivity at work, information security threat vector for public organizations




Research paper


The Online Journal of Applied Knowledge Management (OJAKM), ISSN: 2325-4688


International Institute for Applied Knowledge Management (IIAKM)