AN EQUITY THEORY VIEW OF PERSONAL INFORMATION DISCLOSURE IN AN ONLINE TRANSACTIONAL EXCHANGE

Thomas P Barto, Indira R Guzman
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21529/RESI.2018.1701002

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Resumo

This study draws upon equity theory to present a conceptual model for the study of personal information disclosure in an online buyer-seller transactional exchange. Prior research studies have utilized social contract and principal-agent theories to explain how information privacy concerns influence consumers’ intentions to provide their personal information to online sellers. Herein, equity theory is viewed as another “fairness and justice” lens through which online information privacy concerns can be explored while accommodating a broader set of situational factors, e.g., vendor loyalty, that also influence a buyer's willingness to provide their personal information to an online seller. The model operationalizes the “distress” construct that, according to equity theory, acts as an equity restoration mechanism and explores its mediation effects. Results of this empirical study show that event-driven distress can positively motivate an individual to provide personal information; and, that it can mediate the impact of certain situational factors on an individual’s willingness to provide personal information. Finally, vendor loyalty is conceptualized as a broadening of the “personalization” concept from the personalization-privacy paradox literature. It was also determined that “marital status” was significant in affecting one’s intention to disclose personal information while the significance of “age” was deemed inconclusive.

Palavras-chave

information privacy, equity theory, distributive justice, e-commerce, online shopping