Leadership and Electronic Data Security Within Small Businesses: An Exploratory Case Study

Leadership and Electronic Data Security Within Small Businesses: An Exploratory Case Study

Author: 
Luis O. Noguerol
Program of study: 
D.M./IST
Abstract: 
As new information technologies occupy an increasing role in our lives, the protection of the electronic data is likewise becoming a necessity. Electronic crime is growing exponentially, affecting not only personal information, but also the survival of companies around the world, especially small businesses. Therefore, organizational leaders need to be aware of existing and emerging risks associated with the newest information technologies in order to minimize electronic data leakage. For various reasons, managers in small businesses typically postpone or poorly implement appropriate security measures, thereby facilitating electronic data leakage. The present qualitative exploratory case study reconnoitered the relationship between leadership and electronic data security within small businesses, with the purpose of discovering how non-information technology leaders might influence employees’ behavior in small businesses, and make appropriate decisions about the security of electronic data. Six themes emerged as a result of the investigation. Themes were the broadest conceptual groupings, representing an abstraction of the identified categories, and coded data, which included insight regarding the phenomenon of study. Those themes were (a) developing of a positive work environment, (b) influencing employees’ relationship with technology, (c) setting the tone for the relationship with IT personnel, (d) assessing and reacting to security threats, (e) evaluating and enforcing security policy, and (f) addressing ongoing organizational deficiencies. The themes represented the overarching idea or shared relationship between the categories. The findings contribute to the topic of leadership and information security, and might be applicable into small businesses, especially among non-information technology leaders.
Dedication: 
This is not only my doctoral dissertation, but also the culmination of more than 40 years of education, from Elementary School to Graduate Education. During all these years, my parents, Daysi Rodriguez Cruz and Luis Orlando Noguerol Lopez, have been inspiring me to be a better human being, a grander family member and friend, a superior colleague, and always have the patience to understand all my mistakes (not an easy task), with love, respect, and unconditional support. My doctoral degree is primarily dedicated to them. Mima and Pipo, thank you very much for your conviction in my ability to complete a doctorate degree; for your continuous support, for being there for me from the first moment I opened my eyes. I know I can always count on both of you, and this is a great and inexplicable feeling. You can rest sure I will always do my best to keep every one of your suggestions in mind and to imitate your honesty and love for others. To my son, Luis O. Noguerol, Jr. – Landy. Everything that I have been doing is for you, and I hope one day you understand how much you inspire me every day. I hope you forgive me if mistakenly I did not give you all the attention you deserve. Papi was busy trying to be a role model for you. I am not sure if you see me like this, but at least I tried hard! Please let me thank you for being the most important person in my life, my major motivation to succeed, and for being always in my side during endless sad moments and the good ones. Your inspiration and company will never be forgotten. All of this is just about you, Son. I love you son, and I really love you much! To my adoring, easygoing, and heartening wife, Moraima Navarro. Your continuous encouragement and emotional support was the basis for the success of my doctoral degree. I will never forget the long nights (for years), without TV and the lights on while working in my doctoral assignments, the holidays and weekends we did not go out because of my school responsibilities. Your support was needed and will be appreciated forever. The love is mutual! Finally, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to all my family, dearest relatives, friends, former and present colleagues at work, and to all my present and former students.
Acknowledgements: 
When something unexpected happened, when I was pretty close to defending my dissertation, and the light at the end of the tunnel appeared to be off, Dr. Robert Branch agreed to be my mentor. Quickly, Dr. Branch helped me to overcome this situation and with his guidance along with his authentic and beneficial feedback, I was able to successfully navigate the complex path of the doctoral dissertation. I am and will always be eternally grateful to my academic mentor, Dr. Robert Branch. Dr. Branch, thank you very much for helping me through this endlessly challenging journey - the difficult times, the easy ones, and everything in between. Please keep in mind you are a person I truly believe in and respect. I will always appreciate the incalculable hours you expended reviewing and commenting on my dissertation, and most importantly, for your incredible patience. I will definitely keep in mind each of your suggestions and will forever be indebted to you. My deepest gratitude goes to Dr. Mark Kass. Your willligness to help and constructive feedback inspired me to think, analyze, and reflect carefully before I made a statement. As a committee member, your optimistic words of inspiration served as a necessary motivation to stay on track, even when normal frustration would arise. Dr. Kass, I am sincerely thankful for your all your help. An immense appreciation is extended to Dr. Jiefeng Xu, not only for being part of my academic committee, but also for all the knowledge Dr Xu shared with me while I was taking his classes. I value your feedback, suggestions, and encouragement. Dr. Xu, your sympathy, serenity, and remarkable support on this journey was and forever will be appreciated. A special thanks goes to Dr. Thomas M. Schmidt. Though you are no longer with the University of Phoenix, Dr. Tom, all your help and friendship will always be appreciated. Dr. Tom, your sense of humor and talent were very motivating. You know that I genuinely appreciate all your help and commitment to support. A big thank you to you, in upper case letters. To Dr. Diane Gavin, whose help will be forever appreciated and remembered. To Dr. Paula Wolfe and the others that help behind the scene. I know they were many...