Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration

Committee Chair

Chen Zhang

Committee Member

Brian Janz

Committee Member

He Li

Committee Member

Sandra Richardson


Information technology (IT) is a double-edged sword—IT can afford individuals and organizations opportunities to improve performance; meanwhile, IT may cause unexpected consequences. This three-essay dissertation examines two important dark sides of IT, information security and driving safety, and evaluates interventions that may combat them. The first essay reviews and synthesizes literature on information security in the information systems (IS) field. Based on a semi-automated topic modeling approach, this essay systematically describes major themes of information security research in the IS field, identifies their interconnections, and offers guidelines for future research. Guided by the first essay's insights, the second essay focuses on the joint effects of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and IT leadership on the firm's information security breaches. The longitudinal analysis of S&P 1500 firms from 2005 to 2017 indicates that M&A reduces the likelihood of information security breaches for firms without an IT executive on the top management team (TMT). However, for firms with an IT executive on the TMT, M&A increases the likelihood of security breaches. This research offers nuance to our understanding of firm M&A, IT leadership, and information security breaches. The third essay investigates how a hands-free driving law influences the number of motor vehicle fatalities. While laws on cell phone use while driving have garnered attention in recent years, empirical work evaluating the effectiveness of hands-free driving laws has produced mixed results. This work focuses on two contextual factors affecting the relationship: prior implementation of laws on cell phone use while driving for novice drivers and the number of mobile subscribers. Our quasi-experimental study leveraging US states' staggered enactment of hands-free driving laws demonstrates that the presence of a novice driving law weakens the effectiveness of a hands-free driving law. Also, a high level of mobile subscribers weakens the effectiveness of a hands-free driving law. Our findings advocate a more nuanced understanding of the effectiveness of hands-free driving laws and identify its boundary conditions, potentially resolving past inconsistent results.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Embargoed until 4/12/2024

Available for download on Friday, April 12, 2024