Informal IT and Routine Activity Theory -A Theoretical Review

Asif Shaikh, Diogo Oliveira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


This study seeks to explore the risks of insider threat due to frequent informal technology (IT) usage in organizations. The use of informal IT tools and resources at the workplace becomes a routine phenomenon which has diminished the boundaries between work and personal life domains. Also, it has increased the complexity of employees' IT usage and created indistinctness in work ethics. It is a fact that the biggest threat organizations face today is the threat posed by their own employees. I propose that utilizing routine activity theory (RAT) from criminology to information system literature perspective is critical to understand the likelihood of insider threat as a consequence of informal IT usage. RAT assumes that a crime can arise from changes in the situation or environmental settings. Prior research reveals several positive outcomes of informal IT such as; employees' productivity, job satisfaction, efficiency, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and lowering of operational costs for organizations. Bdes positive outcomes, prior research has also indicated the likelihood of security risks through informal IT usage. Guided by RAT, this research seeks to present a conceptual framework that explains that informal IT usage may jeopardize information security and may consider the activity as an insider threat. This research will, therefore. assist in developing more precise empirical and theoretical knowledge related towards informal-IT usage research in particular and overall to the information systems security research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2019 IEEE SoutheastCon, SoutheastCon 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728101378
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Event2019 IEEE SoutheastCon, SoutheastCon 2019 - Huntsville, United States
Duration: Apr 11 2019Apr 14 2019

Publication series

NameConference Proceedings - IEEE SOUTHEASTCON
ISSN (Print)1091-0050
ISSN (Electronic)1558-058X


Conference2019 IEEE SoutheastCon, SoutheastCon 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Software
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing


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