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Doctoral Candidate Research

Please see below to learn about Westcliff University doctoral candidate research initiatives as presented during the candidate’s defense.

Note: If your research is incorporated on this page and you wish to either (1) remove it or (2) edit it, please email

Elsayess Mahmoud

Doctoral Candidate, Tariq Saleh

Dissertation Title: Factors Affecting Cybersecurity Awareness: A Qualitative Study in Saudi Arabia
Program: Doctor of Business Administration


Summary of Defense Presentation

Tariq Saleh’s research is a qualitative study exploring individuals’ cybersecurity perceptions and behaviors within ABC organization. Utilizing online focus groups and thematic analysis with both inductive and deductive coding, the research investigated various internal and external factors influencing cybersecurity attitudes. Theoretical frameworks such as the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), and Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) informed the analysis.

From the data, three main themes emerged: Perceived Safeguards and Threats, Personal and Professional Experience in Information Security, and Necessity of Education and Raising Awareness. Additionally, two sub-themes were identified: Costs and Benefits, and Necessity of Safeguard Measures and Attaining Trust.

These findings offer valuable insights into cybersecurity behavior and are potentially applicable to similar contexts facing comparable challenges. Recommendations for future research include exploring the transferability of findings across diverse settings and conducting deeper quantitative analyses to uncover hidden meanings within the data.

Contact Information

If you are interested in contacting Tariq Saleh about the research being conducted or collaboration opportunties, please email

For more information

If you wish to learn more about the candidate’s work, feel free to contact them with the email above (if included). 

If you wish to see a copy of the dissertation, contact to see if it is available for public viewing.