Measuring Dimensions of Perceived e-Business Risks

Scott, Judy E.
Journal of Information Systems and e-Business Vol. 2, Issue 1, p. 31-56

The risks to e-business from breaches of security and privacy are well known. However, research has given very little attention to other important e-business risks. Using a socio-technical approach, in this study we survey a diverse sample of almost 200 participants to rate their perception of 16e-business risks, compiled from the research and practitioner literature. Strategic risks, organizational risks and e-business policy risks emerged as the three underlying dimensions of e-business risk. In terms of the sociotechnical model, strategic risks focus on the actor-structure component, and policy risks focus on the task-structure component. Organizational risks cover a wide spectrum of socio-technical components such as technology, actor-technology, technology structure and task-actor. The main contribution of this study is a multi dimensional scale of e-business risk perception. Practitioners can benefit by focusing their risk management efforts on the three dimensions of e-business risk, which are easier to manage than a long checklist of unrelated risks. Researchers benefit from a raised awareness on the importance of strategic and organizational risk factors in addition to policy risk factors for e-business risk management. A model that incorporates the three dimensions of e-business risks and shows theoretically based relationships with control mechanisms, trust, perceived uncertainty and profitability is proposed for testing in future research.