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Page 1

Implications of Internet Usage Policy on
Personal Web Usage from the Perspective of

Senior Management and Other Staff
Members






Kean Foon Kwon








A thesis submitted for the degree of

Master of Science
at the University of Otago, Dunedin,

New Zealand.


July 2015

Page 2

i



ABSTRACT

The use of the Internet has increased exponentially for the past three decades. In many

organisations, the Internet has been the backbone of communication and dissemination of

information. Personal web usage (PWU) is an emergent phenomenon within organisations

that rely on the access of the Internet in order to function properly. The unrestricted and

unmanaged PWU activities have become causes for concern for tertiary education

institutions. Some of these activities include sending personal email, online shopping,

downloading video or software, and accessing adult-oriented websites.

This study utilised a quantitative approach to gauge the understanding of the senior

management and staff members’ perceptions of the Internet usage policy, to evaluate

attitudes and perception of staff members concerning the use of the Internet for both

personal and work purposes, the impact of the Internet usage policy on staff members’

performance, as well as staff’s perception of the adoption of monitoring tools in tertiary

education institutions. The first phase of this research involved an electronic questionnaire

administered to 1000 randomly selected staff members (n = 198) (encompassing academic,

general and contract staff excluding senior management), while the second phase of this

study yielded participation of senior management (n = 34) (encompassing Associate Dean,

Dean, Head of Department, Director, and Deputy Director).

Findings from analysis of the first-phase questionnaire reveal difference in perceptions

between academic staff and general staff concerning the impact of the Internet usage

policy on job performance. Additionally, the results show differences in self-reported use

of the Internet between academic and general staff. Findings from the second phase

suggest that senior management perceive the monitoring tools and policy used within the

university to have impact on an individual’s decision to abuse the Internet. However, only

35 percent of the senior management believe that the Internet usage policy has an impact

on staff performance. The results of the study may help the management and technical

teams to enhance the Internet management practices in the near future.

Page 56

49

Figure 16: Response to survey 2 question 12



5.2.2 Senior management’s evaluation of the Internet Usage Policy

In Figure 17, 15% of the respondents had encountered some incidents about their staff

members abusing Internet privileges prior to the implementation of IUP. Consequently, the

HR department issued a warning letter for minor offences about their unethical behaviour

while one of the staff was sacked because of serious offences. More than one-third of the

respondents had not encountered any incidents prior to the implementation of IUP. Half of

the respondents did not answer the question because of an unknown issue with the

SurveyMonkey website.

On the other hand, after the implementation of IUP, about one-fourth of the respondents

(24%) had encountered some violations of the Internet usage policy. The offenders were

either warned or referred to their superior. As for the rest of the respondents (76%), no

violations were reported within the department/division (see Figure 18).



12%
 

88%
 

0%
 

20%
 

40%
 

60%
 

80%
 

100%
 

Pe
rc
en

t
 

Response
 

Were
 you
 involved
 in
 the
 development
 of
 the
 Internet
 
policy?
 
 
 

Yes
 

No

Page 57

50

Figure 17: Response to survey 2 question 6




Figure 18: Response to survey 2 question 11



In question 14, the respondents were asked to describe the major factors that could

influence the success of a new policy. The thematic analysis was used to recognise,

analyse and report the common themes within data (Braun & Clarke, 2006). To avoid

potential bias through the researcher’s own values and familiarity with the quantitative

data, the researcher’s supervisor was involved in parts of the qualitative analysis. This

allowed the researchers to discuss and agree on the category description. The researchers

15%
 

35%
 

50%
 

0%
 

20%
 

40%
 

60%
 

80%
 

100%
 

Pe
rc
en

t
 

Response
 

Prior
 to
 the
 [email protected]
 of
 this
 policy,
 have
 you
 
encountered
 any
 incidents
 of
 staff
 abusing
 Internet
 

privileges?
 
 

Yes
 

No
 

Skipped
 

24%
 

76%
 

0%
 

20%
 

40%
 

60%
 

80%
 

100%
 

Pe
rc
en

t
 

Response
 

Have
 you
 been
 formally
 informed
 of
 any
 [email protected]
 of
 
the
 Internet
 usage
 policy
 within
 your
 department/

division?
 
 

Yes
 

No

Page 111

104

D.2 Test of Normality Results on Job Classification (Questions 7 -17)

Tests of Normalityb
Job

Classification:
Kolmogorov-Smirnova Shapiro-Wilk

Statistic df Sig. Statistic df Sig.
Accessed social
network sites such as
Facebook, Twitter and
the like

Academic .301 91 .000 .673 91 .000
General

.330 107 .000 .727 107 .000

Used social network
sites as part of your
work

Academic .412 91 .000 .555 91 .000
General .431 107 .000 .618 107 .000

Accessed research
materials

Academic .286 91 .000 .793 91 .000
General .380 107 .000 .734 107 .000

Used personal web-
based email such as
Gmail, Yahoo!,
Hotmail, etc

Academic .277 91 .000 .749 91 .000
General

.268 107 .000 .734 107 .000

Sent or forwarded
non-work-related
email

Academic .372 91 .000 .721 91 .000
General .381 107 .000 .632 107 .000

Read online news,
sports, weathers, etc

Academic .351 91 .000 .713 91 .000
General .398 107 .000 .669 107 .000

Read travel and
leisure web sites for
non-work-related
activities

Academic .449 91 .000 .541 91 .000
General

.438 107 .000 .607 107 .000

Shopped online Academic .476 91 .000 .521 91 .000
General .420 107 .000 .623 107 .000

Conducted personal
investment and
banking activities

Academic .360 91 .000 .634 91 .000
General .352 107 .000 .636 107 .000

Downloaded and/or
viewed video, audio,
picture for personal
entertainment

Academic .496 91 .000 .475 91 .000
General

.420 107 .000 .601 107 .000

Scanned through adult
oriented (sexually
explicit) web sites

General
.529 107 .000 .071 107 .000

a. Lilliefors Significance Correction
b. Scanned through adult oriented (sexually explicit) web sites is constant when Job
Classification: = Academic. It has been omitted.

Page 112

105

D.3 A Matrix Relation between Survey and Research Questions

Survey Question Research Question(s)

Q1 Q2 Q3a Q3b Q3c Q3d

1-6 Demographic Information X X X X X X

7. Accessed social network sites such as Facebook,
Twitter and the like.

X

8. Used social network sites as part of your work. X

9. Accessed research materials. X

10. Used personal web-based email such as Gmail,
Yahoo!, Hotmail, etc.

X

11. Sent or forwarded non-work-related email. X

12. Read online news, sports, weathers, etc. X

13. Read travel and leisure web sites for non-work-
related activities.

X

14. Shopped online. X

15. Conducted personal investment and banking
activities.

X

16. Downloaded and/or viewed video, audio,
picture for personal entertainment.

X

17. Scanned through adult oriented (sexually
explicit) web sites.

X

19. It is appropriate to send non-work-related email
during work hours.

X

21. It is appropriate to conduct personal use of the
Internet outside work hours on work equipment.

X

22. It is appropriate for the University to monitor
personal use of the Internet and email during work
hours.

X

23. Does the University of Otago have an Internet
usage policy?

X

24. The University of Otago’s Internet usage policy
(Please select one answer)

X

25. Do you believe the Internet usage policy is a
good policy?

X

26. The implementation of the Internet usage
policy does not have any impact on my job
performance.

X

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