IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Understanding the Perpetration of Employee Computer Crime in the Organisational Context


  • Willison , Robert

    (Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School)


While hackers and viruses fuel the IS security concerns for organisations, the problems posed by employee computer crime should not be underestimated. Indeed, a growing number of IS security researchers have turned their attention to the ‘insider’ threat. However, to date, there has been a lack of insight into the relationship between the actual behaviour of offenders during the perpetration of computer crime, and the organisational context in which the behaviour takes place. To address this deficiency, this paper advances two criminological theories, which it is argued can be used to examine the stages an offender must go through in order for a crime to be committed. In addition, this paper illustrates how the two theories, entitled the Rational Choice Perspective and Situational Crime Prevention, can be applied to the IS domain, thereby offering a theoretical basis on which to analyse the offender/context relationship during the perpetration of computer crime. By so doing, practitioners may use these insights to inform and enhance the selection of safeguards in a bid to improve prevention programmes.

Suggested Citation

  • Willison , Robert, 2006. "Understanding the Perpetration of Employee Computer Crime in the Organisational Context," Working Papers 2006-4, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Informatics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:cbsinf:2006_004

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dhillon, Gurpreet & Silva, Leiser & Backhouse, James, 2004. "Computer crime at CEFORMA: a case study," International Journal of Information Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 551-561.
    2. Ajzen, Icek, 1991. "The theory of planned behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 179-211, December.
    3. Detmar W. Straub, 1990. "Effective IS Security: An Empirical Study," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 1(3), pages 255-276, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Soyoung, 2021. "How will users respond to the adversarial noise that prevents the generation of deepfakes?," 23rd ITS Biennial Conference, Online Conference / Gothenburg 2021. Digital societies and industrial transformations: Policies, markets, and technologies in a post-Covid world 238060, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    2. Al Quhtani Masoud, 2017. "Data Mining Usage in Corporate Information Security: Intrusion Detection Applications," Business Systems Research, Sciendo, vol. 8(1), pages 51-59, March.
    3. Igor Bernik & Kaja Prislan, 2016. "Measuring Information Security Performance with 10 by 10 Model for Holistic State Evaluation," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(9), pages 1-33, September.
    4. Amitava Dutta & Rahul Roy, 2008. "Dynamics of organizational information security," System Dynamics Review, System Dynamics Society, vol. 24(3), pages 349-375, September.
    5. Park, Sangchul, 2019. "Why information security law has been ineffective in addressing security vulnerabilities: Evidence from California data breach notifications and relevant court and government records," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 132-145.
    6. Mengmeng Song & Joseph Ugrin & Man Li & Jinnan Wu & Shanshan Guo & Wenpei Zhang, 2021. "Do Deterrence Mechanisms Reduce Cyberloafing When It Is an Observed Workplace Norm? A Moderated Mediation Model," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(13), pages 1-16, June.
    7. Qian Tang & Andrew B. Whinston, 2020. "Do Reputational Sanctions Deter Negligence in Information Security Management? A Field Quasi‐Experiment," Production and Operations Management, Production and Operations Management Society, vol. 29(2), pages 410-427, February.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jonathan Dörr & Thomas Wagner & Alexander Benlian & Thomas Hess, 2013. "Music as a Service as an Alternative to Music Piracy?," Business & Information Systems Engineering: The International Journal of WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK, Springer;Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI), vol. 5(6), pages 383-396, December.
    2. Margareta Heidt & Jin P. Gerlach & Peter Buxmann, 2019. "Investigating the Security Divide between SME and Large Companies: How SME Characteristics Influence Organizational IT Security Investments," Information Systems Frontiers, Springer, vol. 21(6), pages 1285-1305, December.
    3. Amanda Chu & Patrick Chau & Mike So, 2015. "Explaining the Misuse of Information Systems Resources in the Workplace: A Dual-Process Approach," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 131(1), pages 209-225, September.
    4. Yajiong Xue & Huigang Liang & Liansheng Wu, 2011. "Punishment, Justice, and Compliance in Mandatory IT Settings," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 22(2), pages 400-414, June.
    5. Matthias Sebastian Rüdiger & David Antons & Torsten-Oliver Salge, 2021. "The explanatory power of citations: a new approach to unpacking impact in science," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 126(12), pages 9779-9809, December.
    6. Maria Andersson & Ola Eriksson & Chris Von Borgstede, 2012. "The Effects of Environmental Management Systems on Source Separation in the Work and Home Settings," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 4(6), pages 1-17, June.
    7. Tran Huy Phuong & Thanh Trung Hieu, 2015. "Predictors of Entrepreneurial Intentions of Undergraduate Students in Vietnam: An Empirical Study," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 5(8), pages 46-55, August.
    8. Clara Cardone-Riportella & María José Casasola-Martinez & Isabel Feito-Ruiz, 2014. "Do Entrepreneurs Come From Venus Or Mars? Impact Of Postgraduate Studies: Gender And Family Business Background," Working Papers 14.04, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Financial Economics and Accounting (former Department of Business Administration), revised Sep 2014.
    9. Peng Cheng & Zhe Ouyang & Yang Liu, 0. "The effect of information overload on the intention of consumers to adopt electric vehicles," Transportation, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-20.
    10. Ruijie Zhu & Guojing Zhao & Zehai Long & Yangjie Huang & Zhaoxin Huang, 2022. "Entrepreneurship or Employment? A Survey of College Students’ Sustainable Entrepreneurial Intentions," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(9), pages 1-15, May.
    11. Alsalem, Amani & Fry, Marie-Louise & Thaichon, Park, 2020. "To donate or to waste it: Understanding posthumous organ donation attitude," Australasian marketing journal, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 87-97.
    12. Pan, Jing Yu & Liu, Dahai, 2022. "Mask-wearing intentions on airplanes during COVID-19 – Application of theory of planned behavior model," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 32-44.
    13. Benoît Lécureux & Adrien Bonnet & Ouassim Manout & Jaâfar Berrada & Louafi Bouzouina, 2022. "Acceptance of Shared Autonomous Vehicles: A Literature Review of stated choice experiments," Working Papers hal-03814947, HAL.
    14. Jacqueline Ruth & Steffen Willwacher & Oliver Korn, 2022. "Acceptance of Digital Sports: A Study Showing the Rising Acceptance of Digital Health Activities Due to the SARS-CoV-19 Pandemic," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 19(1), pages 1-16, January.
    15. Jariyasunant, Jerald & Carrel, Andre & Ekambaram, Venkatesan & Gaker, David & Sengupta, Raja & Walker, Joan L., 2012. "The Quantified Traveler: Changing transport behavior with personalized travel data feedback," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt3047k0dw, University of California Transportation Center.
    16. Brown, Philip & Roper, Simon, 2017. "Innovation and networks in New Zealand farming," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 61(3), July.
    17. Teodora Roman, 2009. "Study regarding entrepreneurial intentions among students," THE YEARBOOK OF THE "GH. ZANE" INSTITUTE OF ECONOMIC RESEARCHES, Gheorghe Zane Institute for Economic and Social Research ( from THE ROMANIAN ACADEMY, JASSY BRANCH), vol. 18, pages 87-94.
    18. Messele Kumilachew Aga, 2023. "The mediating role of perceived behavioral control in the relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions of university students in Ethiopia," Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 1-18, December.
    19. Kristin Thomas & Evalill Nilsson & Karin Festin & Pontus Henriksson & Mats Lowén & Marie Löf & Margareta Kristenson, 2020. "Associations of Psychosocial Factors with Multiple Health Behaviors: A Population-Based Study of Middle-Aged Men and Women," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 17(4), pages 1-17, February.
    20. Andreas Falke & Nadine Schröder & Claudia Hofmann, 2022. "The influence of values in sustainable consumption among millennials," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 92(6), pages 899-928, August.

    More about this item



    JEL classification:

    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:cbsinf:2006_004. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Lars Nondal (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.