Diminished or Just Different? A Factorial Vignette Study of Privacy as a Social Contract
AbstractA growing body of theory has focused on privacy as being contextually defined, where individuals have highly particularized judgments about the appropriateness of what, why, how, and to whom information flows within a specific context. Such a social contract understanding of privacy could produce more practical guidance for organizations and managers who have employees, users, and future customers all with possibly different conceptions of privacy across contexts. However, this theoretical suggestion, while intuitively appealing, has not been empirically examined. This study validates a social contract approach to privacy by examining whether and how privacy norms vary across communities and contractors. The findings from this theoretical examination support the use of contractual business ethics to understand privacy in research and in practice. As predicted, insiders to a community had significantly different understandings of privacy norms as compared to outsiders. In addition, all respondents held different privacy norms across hypothetical contexts, thereby suggesting privacy norms are contextually understood within a particular community of individuals. The findings support two conclusions. First, individuals hold different privacy norms without necessarily having diminished expectations of privacy. Individuals differed on the factors they considered important in calculating privacy expectations, yet all groups had robust privacy expectations across contexts. Second, outsiders have difficulty in understanding the privacy norms of a particular community. For managers and scholars, this renders privacy expectations more difficult to identify at a distance or in deductive research. The findings speak directly to the needs of organizations to manage a diverse set of privacy issues across stakeholder groups. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Business Ethics.
Volume (Year): 111 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100281
Privacy; Social contract theory; Contractual business ethics; Factorial vignette methodology; Survey;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- G. Alder & Marshall Schminke & Terry Noel, 2007. "The Impact of Individual Ethics on Reactions to Potentially Invasive HR Practices," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 75(2), pages 201-214, October.
- Jeffery Thompson & David Hart, 2006. "Psychological Contracts: A Nano-Level Perspective on Social Contract Theory," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 68(3), pages 229-241, October.
- Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
- Katherina Glac & Tae Kim, 2009. "The “I” in ISCT: Normative and Empirical Facets of Integration," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 88(4), pages 693-705, October.
- Peter Kennedy, 2003. "A Guide to Econometrics, 5th Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 5, volume 1, number 026261183x, December.
- Donaldson, Thomas & Dunfee, Thomas W., 2002. "Ties that bind in business ethics: Social contracts and why they matter," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(9), pages 1853-1865, September.
- Pursey Heugens & J. Oosterhout & Muel Kaptein, 2006. "Foundations and Applications for Contractualist Business Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 68(3), pages 211-228, October.
- Laurence Ashworth & Clinton Free, 2006. "Marketing Dataveillance and Digital Privacy: Using Theories of Justice to Understand Consumersâ€™ Online Privacy Concerns," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 67(2), pages 107-123, August.
- Thomas Dunfee, 2006. "A Critical Perspective of Integrative Social Contracts Theory: Recurring Criticisms and Next Generation Research Topics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 68(3), pages 303-328, October.
- Feng-Yang Kuo & Cathy Lin & Meng-Hsiang Hsu, 2007. "Assessing Gender Differences in Computer Professionalsâ€™ Self-Regulatory Efficacy Concerning Information Privacy Practices," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 73(2), pages 145-160, June.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.