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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An exploratory investigation of organizational security climate in a highly regulated environment
by Bitzer, Edward George, III, Ph.D., Colorado State University, 2010, 125; 3433677
Abstract (Summary)

Security professionals, particularly those working in the field of nuclear security, have become increasingly interested in organizational characteristics which might influence an organization's security performance. However, empirical research on such constructs has been limited. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to conduct an exploratory investigation of the proposed construct of security climate. In light of the limited amount of previous work on the topic the study sought to operationalize the construct, establish the emergent nature of the construct, and investigate the impact of security climate on security performance.

The participating organization, which operates in the highly regulated nuclear environment, provided three years of archival data gathered from multiple divisions within the enterprise. Results indicate that security climate is a multidimensional construct comprised of management support for security, co-worker support for security, and security policies and procedures. Evidence also suggests that individuals' perceptions regarding security do become shared among employees within the same unit which verifies the emergent nature of security climate. Furthermore, security climate varied across units and these differences were correlated to division security exposure.

However, the hypothesized relationship between security climate and security performance, after controlling for security exposure, could not be accurately assessed due to the presence of reciprocal suppression among the security climate and security exposure variables. Nonetheless, zero order correlations did provide some evidence of a relationship between security climate and two separate measures of security performance (event frequency and event severity), although the results were not in the anticipated direction. Implications of the study, as well as directions for future research, are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Chen, Peter Y.
Commitee: Clegg, Benjamin A., Hautaluoma, Jacob E., Lawrence, Robert M.
School: Colorado State University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-B 72/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Occupational psychology, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Counterproductive workplace behavior, Nuclear security culture, Organizational climate, Organizational culture, Security
Publication Number: 3433677
ISBN: 978-1-124-39635-4
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