Diminished or Just Different? A Factorial Vignette Study of Privacy as a Social Contract
A 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
Volume (Year): 111 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.springer.com|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.springer.com/social+sciences/applied+ethics/journal/10551/PS2|
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Wempe, Ben, 2005. "In Defense of a Self-Disciplined, Domain-Specific Social Contract Theory of Business Ethics," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(01), pages 113-135, January.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Robertson, Diana C. & Ross, William T., 1995. "Decision-Making Processes on Ethical Issues: The Impact of a Social Contract Perspective," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(02), pages 213-240, April.
- Craig Smith, N. & Simpson, Sally S. & Huang, Chun-Yao, 2007. "Why Managers Fail to do the Right Thing: An Empirical Study of Unethical and Illegal Conduct," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 17(04), pages 633-667, October.
- Weber, James, 1992. "Scenarios in Business Ethics Research: Review, Critical Assessment, and Recommendations," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(02), pages 137-160, April.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Steven Levitt & John List, 2007. "What do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World," Artefactual Field Experiments 00480, The Field Experiments Website.
- 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.
- Peter Kennedy, 2003. "A Guide to Econometrics, 5th Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 5, volume 1, number 026261183x, July. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:111:y:2012:i:4:p:519-539. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)or (Rebekah McClure)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.