Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The psychological reactance dilemma: Effects of restricting workers' personal social media use
by Flaugh, Jason E., Ph.D., Alliant International University, 2016, 194; 10006586
Abstract (Summary)

U.S. organizations often employ deterrence mechanisms to regulate workers’ technology use, but such approaches are not always effective (Sommestad, Hallberg, Lundholm, & Bengtsson, 2014). The theory of psychological reactance (Brehm & Brehm, 1981) was explored as a potential explanation for the inconsistencies in the effectiveness of deterrence mechanisms. It was postulated that workers expect the freedom to use certain types of technology within the workplace and that restricting such use would result in opposition. This possibility was investigated in the context of intentions to use social media, a technology popular among U.S. workers.

A 3 (personal social media use restriction) x 3 (sanctions) between-subject experimental design was used to test the effect of restrictive personal social media use guidelines and sanctions on workers’ compliance and use intentions. U.S. workers (N = 715) recruited through MTurk completed an online survey in which they were randomly assigned to one of nine conditions. The IVs were manipulated through the use of vignettes. The DVs were measured using both scales modified from previous studies and newly constructed scales.

The results suggest that the average worker does not engage in freedom restoration when social media is restricted. Overall, participants were more compliant, had lower social media intentions, and social media’s valence was lowest when social media was restricted and sanctions were used. Explanations for the findings are provided with extensions to conservation of resource, deterrence, and justice theories.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ferdman, Bernardo
Commitee: Aramovich, Nicholas, Glaser, Dale
School: Alliant International University
Department: San Diego, CSPP
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Information Technology, Psychology, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Cyberloafing, Policy compliance, Psychological reactance, Sanctions, Social media, Technology
Publication Number: 10006586
ISBN: 978-1-339-44342-3
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