Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Business Administration



First Advisor

Brian J. Reithel

Second Advisor

Walter Davis

Third Advisor

Tony Ammeter

Relational Format



This dissertation explores the perceived safety of free software and its relationship with the intention to use this technology in a business setting. The newly created construct of perceived safety is developed out of the theory of planned behavior. It is researched, scrutinized, and refined according to academic guidelines and two different environmental settings. The constructs that impact perceived safety and its relationship with intention to use consist of technology perceived risk, technology trusting beliefs, expected financial utility, and perceived adverse impact on professional reputation. Each construct consists of multiple operationalized elements. To explore this empirically, beneficial and risk measurements have been adapted from relevant literature in information systems/technology, management, risk, financial, and psychology academic publications. Three pilot studies were done in sequence among a student population before the instrument was tested among a main study that consisted of individuals with the ability to make software decisions for a nonprofit organization. The results suggest that perceived safety is needed in order for the intention to use free software in business, and that this relationship is impacted through various benefits and risks constructs. The study raises a number of opportunities to be explored and debated by future research, both in the realm of free software and beyond.


Emphasis: MIS



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.