The determinants of online information disclosure

Sammanfattning: Online users' concerns about collusive information exchanges and fears of violation of privacy rights of individuals have the potential to stem the even-flow of e-businesses. Misuse of information can also have a major strategic impact on a company, damaging its reputation, and limiting the trust it can foster in relationships with customers, employees, channel members, and competitors; thus having a crippling effect on its customer relationship management programs in its entirety. The research recognizes that there may be a dichotomy between privacy attitudes and actual behaviour, and highlights that economic studies of privacy worked on the assumption that individuals are rational agents, which fails to answer the above dichotomy. The paper posits instead that the individual decision process with respect to disclosure of information differs from that of the collective, and there is a pressing need for focusing on the individual's privacy sensitive behaviour taking into account one's background, environmental context, location etc. The paper intends to extend previous research by identifying key factors and explores any new factors that affect a customer's online information disclosure and proposes a theoretical model of online information disclosure that considers the cognitive process of an individual. Finally, it draws a cognitive map of a how an individual's information disclosure behaviour is shaped.

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