Degree Type

Creative Component

Semester of Graduation

Summer 2021


Political Science

First Major Professor

Mack Clayton Shelley

Second Major Professor

Doug W Jacobson

Third Major Professor

Kelly Bradford Shaw


Master of Science (MS)


Information Assurance


The description webpage for the Master of Science in Information Assurance program offered through the Iowa State University Department of Political Science states that “. . . information assurance—defined in terms of security, privacy, access, and reliability—is not simply a technical problem but also involves important societal dimensions. . .” [1] The purpose of this creative component is to accessibly demonstrate, with some levity, some of the challenges that arise when the technical and societal dimensions of information assurance, or cybersecurity, intersect. This work will explore how and why some goals of information assurance and cybersecurity are difficult to accomplish by drawing on the insights provided by organization theory. It will also use lessons from public policy theory to recommend pragmatic solutions to smooth the aforementioned intersection. More simply, this paper seeks to explain why pedestrian users in organizations make bad decisions that compromise cybersecurity, much to the annoyance of the developers and administrators who handle the cybersecurity show. It also seeks to provide some organizational policy solutions to these problems.


I would like to thank my wife and parents for supporting me on my academic journey.

Copyright Owner

Michael J. Lauer

File Format


Embargo Period (admin only)