Title: An exploratory study of culture and cyber harassment

Authors: Morgan Lake

Addresses: Business Incubation and Business Policy Center, Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus, Kathu, Phuket 83120, Thailand

Abstract: It has long been recognised that there are national and cultural differences in propensities to write negative information about others and institutions using the internet. With the Arab Spring, some changes are unfolding with regard to long-held traditions about expressions of dissent. While Western cultures have enjoyed fairly unrestricted online dissent, this phenomenon is quite new in some Asian, Arab and Mid-East countries. An important question that follows is how will an emerging tolerance for online expression reflect in online self-governance? Guided by the GLOBE socio-cultural model, we studied two groups of Eastern and Mid-Eastern college students by having an |actor| invite them to post on a fictitious blog comments about a fictitious organisation that was |purportedly| lobbying to gain prohibitions against |foreign students| from attending universities in the USA, UK, and Northern Europe. We compared these Eastern and Mid-Eastern groups to Western and European groups of students using the reverse scenario. We analysed the data and blog postings and found a significant difference between groups and their propensities to make negative postings on the fictitious blog as well as the intensity of those blog postings. As a result, we propose several suggestions for researchers and professionals to facilitate decision-action.

Keywords: cultures; online behaviour; virtual behaviour; national differences; cultural differences; negative information; Arab Spring; revolutions; demonstrations; protests; civil resistance; social media; civil wars; popular uprisings; traditions; dissent; Asia; Middle East; tolerance; online expression; online self-governance; socio-cultural models; GLOBE model; global leadership; organisational behaviour; organisational effectiveness; college students; universities; higher education; fictitious comments; fictitious organisations; blog comments; blogs; blogging; bloggers; foreign students; USA; United States; United Kingdom; UK; Northern Europe; reverse scenarios; blog postings; negative postings; fictitious blogs; post intensity; management; decision making; cyber harassment; internet posts; world wide web.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMDM.2011.043411

International Journal of Management and Decision Making, 2011 Vol.11 No.5/6, pp.387 - 396

Available online: 27 Oct 2011 *

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