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Understanding employees' perceptions of SETA events: the role of pedagogical and communication approaches

Siqi Hu (Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, China)
Carol Hsu (Department of Business Information Systems, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia)
Zhongyun Zhou (Tongji University, Shanghai, China)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 24 May 2023

Issue publication date: 19 March 2024




Security education, training and awareness (SETA) programs are the key to addressing “people problems” in information systems (IS) security. Contrary to studies using conventional methods, the present study leveraged an “event” lens and dimensionalized employees' perceptions into three sub-dimensions: perceived novelty, perceived disruption and perceived criticality. Moreover, this research went a step further by examining how pedagogical and communication approaches to a SETA program affect employees' perceptions of the program. This study then investigated whether – and if so, how – these approaches impact employees' perceptions of the SETA program and their subsequent commitment to it.


Utilizing a factorial-based scenario survey, this study empirically tested a model of the above relationships via covariance-based structural equation modeling.


The results of this research showed that pedagogical approaches were more effective than communication approaches and that employees' perceptions of the SETA program accounted for a large variance in their commitment to SETA.


First, this research deepens understanding of the protection of information assets by elaborating on the different approaches that organizations can take to encourage employees' commitment to SETA. Second, the study enriches the SETA literature by theorizing a SETA program as an organizational “event”, which represents a major shift from the conventional approach. Third, the study adds to the theoretical knowledge of the event lens by extending it to the SETA context and investigating the relationship among three event strength components.



The authors are grateful to the editorial team and the review panel for their thorough and insightful comments. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant numbers 71872129, 72011530135, 72261160394, 71871162).


Hu, S., Hsu, C. and Zhou, Z. (2024), "Understanding employees' perceptions of SETA events: the role of pedagogical and communication approaches", Internet Research, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 294-319.



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