Explaining the Misuse of Information Systems Resources in the Workplace: A Dual-Process Approach

Amanda M.Y. Chu, Patrick Y.K. Chau, Mike K.P. So

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study is to gain an understanding of why employees misuse information systems resources (commit IS resource misuse) in the workplace. Rather than consider “intention,” as existing behavioral research commonly does, this study investigates actual behavior and employs IS resource misuse as the dependent variable. Data from a web-based survey are analyzed using the partial least squares approach. In light of the dual-process approach and the theory of planned behavior, the findings suggest that IS resource misuse may be both an intentional type of behavior and an unreasoned action. Perceived behavioral control influences employees’ IS resource misuse actions via their desires or intentions, whereas attitude toward such misuse affects these actions via employees’ desires alone. Subjective norm is found not to affect employees’ IS resource misuse via either desires or intentions. In terms of its theoretical contribution, this study considers unethical behavior in information systems by incorporating a dual-process model and the theory of planned behavior. With regard to its managerial significance, the study’s results will help managers to better understand why employees commit IS resource misuse within organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-225
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Dual-process approach
  • Information systems
  • Resource misuse
  • Theory of planned behavior
  • Unethical behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law


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