Journal of the Association for Information Systems


Leadership plays an important role in changing employees’ behavior. This paper aims to investigate the relationship between paternalistic leadership and employees’ information security policy (ISP) compliance. We adopt social bond theory as the theoretical lens to explain the effect of paternalistic leadership on ISP compliance through social bond formation. We developed a research model and tested it using data comprising 314 dyads of employees and their supervisors in organizations. The results show that all three dimensions of paternalistic leadership— benevolence, morality, and authoritarianism—positively influence employee ISP compliance. The social bond partially mediates the effects of benevolence and morality on compliance intention. Overall, this paper reveals the positive effect of paternalistic leadership in improving ISP compliance and the mediating role of the social bond in explaining the impact of paternalistic leadership on ISP compliance. In addition, the mediation effect of the social bond suggests that the non-IT related routine behavior of leaders can also affect employee ISP compliance through facilitating the formation of social bonds with and among employees.