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Strategy and organisational cybersecurity: a knowledge-problem perspective

Mark Paul Sallos (Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University, Coventry, UK)
Alexeis Garcia-Perez (Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University, Coventry, UK)
Denise Bedford (Georgetown University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)
Beatrice Orlando (Department of Management, Sapienza University of Rome, Roma, Italy)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 5 September 2019

Issue publication date: 1 October 2019




The purpose of this paper is to frame organisational cybersecurity through a strategic lens, as a function of an interplay of pragmatism, inference, holism and adaptation. The authors address the hostile epistemic climate for intellectual capital management presented by the dynamics of cybersecurity as a phenomenon. The drivers of this hostility are identified and their implications for research and practice are discussed.


The philosophical foundations of cybersecurity in its relation with strategy, knowledge and intellectual capital are explored through a review of the literature as a mechanism to contribute to the emerging theoretical underpinnings of the cybersecurity domain.


This conceptual paper argues that a knowledge-based perspective can serve as the necessary platform for a phenomenon-based view of organisational cybersecurity, given its multi-disciplinary nature.

Research limitations/implications

By recognising the knowledge-related vectors, mechanisms and tendencies at play, a novel perspective on the topic can be developed: cybersecurity as a “knowledge problem”. In order to facilitate such a perspective, the paper proposes an emergent epistemology, rooted in systems thinking and pragmatism.

Practical implications

In practice, the knowledge-problem narrative can underpin the development of new organisational support constructs and systems. These can address the distinctiveness of the strategic challenges that cybersecurity poses for the growing operational reliance on intellectual capital.


The research narrative presents a novel knowledge-based analysis of organisational cybersecurity, with significant implications for both interdisciplinary research in the field, and practice.



Sallos, M.P., Garcia-Perez, A., Bedford, D. and Orlando, B. (2019), "Strategy and organisational cybersecurity: a knowledge-problem perspective", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 581-597.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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