Date of Award

Fall 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Computer Information Systems

First Advisor

Tom Roberts

Second Advisor

James Courtney


This dissertation research seeks to examine the role of organizational insiders' psychological capital (PsyCap) on the performance of protection motivated behaviors (PMBs). The dissertation examines the role of PsyCap through three studies which were conducted for this research. Using structural equation modeling (SEM), the responses from four distinct samples were analyzed. The results largely support the significant role of PsyCap in information security. The first study takes an expectancy theory (Vroom, 1964) approach and found that PsyCap was a significant consequence of insiders' security-related expectancy dimensions. Additionally, expectancy theory was found to be an appropriate frame-work for promoting PMBs.

The expectancy dimensions were found to be trainable through security, education, training, and awareness (SETA) programs, and were significantly related to the performance of PMBs. The second study draws upon the broaden-and-build theory (Fredrickson, 2004) to examine the role of PsyCap within an emotional security framework. The second study found that the broaden-and-build theory explained the performance of PMBs through a direct relationship between emotion and behavior as well as through an indirect relationship between emotions and an insider's PsyCap.

Finally, the dissertation examines the role of PsyCap in information security from a framework of behavioral complexity (Wu et al., 2010) in the third study. The results of the third study indicate that PsyCap is a significant contributor to a model of security behavioral complexity which is shown to effectively influence insiders' performance of PMBs. Implications of the results on both practice and research are discussed along with limitations to the current studies. The overall contributions of the dissertation are highlighted and areas of future research evidenced by the findings are raised.