Socio-technical determinants of information security perceptions in US local governments

Eunjung Shin, Eric Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Concerns about electronic information security in government have increased alongside increased use of online media. However, to date, few studies have examined the social mechanisms influencing electronic information security. This article applies a socio-technical framework to model how technical, organizational and environmental complexities limit electronic information security perceived by local government managers. Furthermore, it examines to what extent organizational design buffers security risks. Using data from a 2010 national survey of local government managers, this article empirically tests the proposed model in the context of U.S. local government's online media use. Findings show that, in addition to technical complexity, organizational and environmental complexities are negatively associated with local managers' awareness of and confidence in electronic information security. On the other hand, internal security policy and decentralized decision-making appear to buffer security risks and enhance perceived information security.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Electronic Government Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Information Security
  • Local E-Government
  • Security Perceptions
  • Socio-Technical Complexity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • General Social Sciences
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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