Term of Award

Fall 2010

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Teri Denlea Melton

Committee Member 1

Terry J. Smith

Committee Member 2

Barbara J. Mallory


Computer misuse is a leading problem for all industry sectors, including higher education. However, much of the current research related to computer misuse has been conducted in the business sector, leaving higher education a relatively unstudied group. Many theories have been addressed in computer security literature, but only one theory offers a more holistic solution to combating computer misuse, Situational Crime Prevention Theory. Situational Crime Prevention Theory encompasses four categories of countermeasures: countermeasures that Increase the Perceived Effort of the offender, countermeasures that Increase the Perceived Risk of the offender, countermeasures that Reduce the Anticipated Rewards of the offender, and countermeasures that Remove the Excuses to offend. This study endeavored to investigate whether a relationship exists between the categories of ountermeasures found in Situational Crime Prevention and the actual number of computer misuse incidents reported by CIO's of public, four-year colleges and universities. Using a web-accessible, anonymous questionnaire, CIO's of 442 public, four-year colleges and universities were asked to provide information related to the countermeasures that they have in place at their institutions and the number of insider computer misuse incidents their institutions experienced in the year 2009. The data were analyzed with PLS-Graph software to include composite reliability, t statistic and critical value analysis, and R-square analysis. Results showed a significant relationship between two out of four categories of countermeasures and the actual number of computer misuse incidents. These results would be particularly useful to administrators in higher education who are responsible for designing a technology security plan that is focused and cost-effective.

Research Data and Supplementary Material