Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Moore School of Business


Business Administration

First Advisor

Andrew Spicer


The primary research goal of this dissertation is to improve our theoretical understanding of the longterm effects of major transnational terrorist events on securityrelated institutional changes for business. To accomplish this goal, the September, 11, 2001, terror attack was chosen as the starting point for this research. The research context is the governance of seaport security. Using grounded theory to develop comparative case studies of several major security initiatives in the maritime industry after 9/11, this dissertation shows that a terrorist event initiates a process of institutional change that emerges over time as initial securityrelated ideas cascade into concrete actions. In terms of seaport security, this research demonstrates that not only did the rules of the game changed as a result of a fear of future terrorist attacks but that both the actors and the governance structures changed as well. However, the changes that occurred cannot be easily inferred from reading the policies written soon after 9/11 that hoped to redesign institutional arrangements to better protect seaports from terrorist attacks. Instead, substantive change has slowly emerged over time from the complex negotiation between security, political and economic actors over the proper responsibilities of who implements and pays for desired securityrelated changes. Based on this analysis, I propose that exploring the effects of terrorism on business requires looking at the intersection of economic and security logics as institutional responsibilities are debated and redrawn in the face of an increasingly risky global business environment.


© 2016, Daniel J. Ostergaard