Many of us begin our day at work by logging onto our computer, either to get straight to work, play online games, browse our social media feeds or watch alien videos on YouTube. But as information technology redefines our lives, the potential for IT misuse is increasing. Deviant IT use behaviors in the workplace has received increasing industry attention because it has resulted in not only productivity loss, but also public embarrassment, legal bills, compensation claims and clean-up costs for many companies. Further, personal use of workplace systems can seriously drain organizational computer networks and bandwidth usage, and undermine the security of the organization’s network. To help organizations better understand the characteristics of cyberdeviant behaviors, a new research article1 from a multidisciplinary group of international scholars developed a typology of cyberdeviance in the workplace. They propose that cyberdeviant behaviors can be divided between minor or serious in nature, whether they affect individuals or organizations, and whether they require low or high IT skills to execute. By using different combinations of the three dimensions, they come up with eight categories of cyberdeviant behaviors, including cyberslacking, unauthorized access and use of IT, computer abuse and cyberaggression. This newly developed typology will help managers distinguish between different cyberdeviant behaviors and implement suitable intervention strategies. So next time when you come to the office, remember to think twice before posting on social media or surfing the web. Big brother might be watching!


1Venkatraman, S., Cheung, C.M.K., Lee, Z.W.Y., Davis, F.D., & Venkatesh, V. (2018), The “Darth” Side of Technology Use: An Inductively Derived Typology of Cyberdeviance, Journal of Management Information Systems, 35(4), 1060-1091. More.

Related Link: