A Socio-Technical Approach to Understanding Perceptions of Trustworthiness in Virtual Organizations

  • Shuyuan Mary Ho
Conference paper

This study adopts a socio-technical approach to examining perceptions of human trustworthiness as a key component for countering insider threats in a virtual collaborative context. The term insider threat refers to situations where a critical member of an organization behaves against the interests of that organization, in an illegal and/or unethical manner. Identifying and detecting how this individual’s behavior changes over time - and how anomalous behavior can be detected - are important elements in the preventive control of insider threat behaviors. This study focuses on understanding how anomalous behavior can be detected by observers. While human observations are fallible, this study adopts the concept of human-observed changes in behavior as being analogous to “sensors” on a computer network. Using online team-based game-playing, this study seeks to re-create realistic situations in which human sensors have the opportunity to observe changes in the behavior of a focal individual — in the case of this research, a team leader. Four sets of experimental situations are created to test the core hypotheses. Results of this study may lead to the development of semi-automated or fully-automated behavioral detection system that attempts to predict the occurrence of malfeasance.


Team Member Anomalous Behavior Online Game Virtual Organization Group Sensitivity 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag US 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Information StudiesSyracuse UniversitySyracuseNew York

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