Computer abuse by employees has increased the potential for security vulnerabilities for organizations. Organizations have established various security countermeasures to prevent computer abuse and protect organizational information. However, these policies are only effective if followed. Thus, it is important for organizations to understand the factors that motivate employees to follow computer usage polices. We investigate the impact of different countermeasures, such as perceived sanctions, and awareness of being monitored on compliance with computer usage policies by drawing upon agency theory and general deterrence theory. After testing the hypothesized relationships using survey data, the results indicate that perceived sanction severity and certainty significantly influence intention to comply with computer usage policies. Furthermore, awareness of being monitored is found to significantly impact penalties. Study results further indicate that penalties may be effective only to the extent that organizations can detect employees' deviant behavior through managerial controls, such as computer monitoring.

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