The effects of sanctions and stigmas on cyberloafing

Cyberloafing has become a pervasive problem for many organizations and some researchers have suggested that a deterrence approach utilizing acceptable use policies for Internet-based applications coupled with mechanisms designed to monitor employee Internet usage and detect unauthorized usage can be an effective way to reduce it. However, the results of studies that have examined the effects of acceptable use policies and detection mechanisms on reducing cyberloafing are mixed. This study attempts to reconcile those inconsistencies by using an experiment to show that the deterrence model affects various types of cyberloafing differently. The results reveal that individually, threats termination and detection mechanisms are effective deterrents against activities like viewing pornography, managing personal finances, and personal shopping, but must be coupled together and actively enforced to dissuade activities like personal emailing and social networking.