Airports at risk: The impact of information sources on security decisions

Alan Avi Kirschenbaum, Michele Mariani, Coen van Gulijk, Carmit Rapaport, Sharon Lubasz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Security decisions in high risk organizations such as airports involve obtaining ongoing and frequent information about potential threats. Utilizing questionnaire survey data from a sample of airport employees in European Airports across the continent, we analyzed how both formal and informal sources of security information affect employee's decisions to comply with the security rules and directives. This led us to trace information network flows to assess its impact on the degree employees making security decisions comply or deviate with the prescribed security rules. The results of the multivariate analysis showed that security information obtained through formal and informal networks differentially determine if employees will comply or not with the rules. Information sources emanating from the informal network tends to encourage employees to be more flexible in their security decisions while formal sources lead them to be more rigid with complying with rules and protocols. These results suggest that alongside the formal administrative structure of airports, there exists a diverse and pervasiveness set of informal communications networks that are a potent factor in determining airport security levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-197
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Transportation Security
Issue number3
Early online date24 Jun 2012
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


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