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Title HYPERCONNECTIVITY GIVETH AND TAKETH AWAY: RECONCILING BEING AN “ALWAYS-ON” EMPOWERED CONSUMER AND PRIVACY IN AN ERA OF PERVASIVE PERSONAL DATA EXCHANGES
URL
Publication Date
Degree PhD
Discipline/Department Management
Degree Level doctoral
University/Publisher Case Western Reserve University School of Graduate Studies
Abstract We are living in an era of rising connectivity where consumers of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds are “always-on.” Consumers can now engage constantly with brands, retailers, content, and each other through real-time interactions, facilitated by a mobile-first mindset. This has earned consumers the moniker, “highly empowered.” Consumers are indeed empowered by the growth of the internet/mobile, proliferation of devices, and unprecedented access to information, choice, and control. However, rising connectivity also has downsides. Consumers now face a barrage of decisions about whether to share their personal information with firms or accept its collection without their explicit consent. The outcomes of these automatic, one-time decisions are far-reaching and long-lasting. They also empower firms—perhaps more than consumers; something most marketers prefer to keep secret. This research study addresses how “always-on” supposedly empowered consumers behave while shopping and make decisions in an era of pervasive personal information exchanges with retailers and others. It uses an exploratory, sequential mixed methods design beginning with a qualitative study followed by two quantitative studies. Study 1 investigates how 40 connected consumers behave and make decisions in shopping/retail environments. Findings reveal pros and cons of rising connectivity, dynamic behavior that challenges traditional customer segmentation, and tensions over privacy and personal data exchanges with retailers. These tensions are explored in Study 2 using survey data collected from 790 U.S. consumers, all heavy internet/mobile users. Consumer acceptance of personal data collection is interpreted as a form of coping with the stress of digital life. Study 3 extends Study 2 by focusing on three moderating effects on consumer willingness to share personal data or have it collected: perceived marketing intrusiveness, high versus low privacy knowledge, and high versus low privacy-protecting behaviors. Many findings are counterintuitive with few statistically significant differences in consumer attitudes—all affected by their perceptions of fairness in exchanges with firms. This work contributes to the emerging streams of research about consumer privacy, personal data exchanges, perceptions of fairness, and consumer acceptance in an era of presumed high consumer empowerment. It also has implications for marketers and marketing strategies, consumer advocates, and public policy.
Subjects/Keywords Management; Marketing; Technology; Information Science; always-on consumer; consumer connectivity; privacy; personal data exchanges; consumer empowerment; disempowerment; fairness of exchanges; consumer acceptance; consumer decision making; shopping; digital commerce; mixed methods; cluster analysis
Contributors Niraj, Rakesh (Committee Chair)
Language en
Rights unrestricted ; This thesis or dissertation is protected by copyright: all rights reserved. It may not be copied or redistributed beyond the terms of applicable copyright laws.
Country of Publication us
Format application/pdf
Record ID oai:etd.ohiolink.edu:case1554468526463455
Repository ohiolink
Date Indexed 2020-10-19
Grantor Case Western Reserve University School of Graduate Studies

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…consumer advocates, and public policy. Keywords: always-on consumer; consumer connectivity; privacy; personal data exchanges; consumer empowerment; (dis)empowerment; fairness of exchanges; consumer acceptance; consumer decision making; shopping…

…5.35 trillion in 2018, the growth of digital commerce has contributed disproportionately to its overall growth, by 40%+ in 2018 alone (eMarketer, 2019; Young, 2018). Third, consumer decision making and personal data exchanges between consumers…

…Marketing Communication ...............126 Privacy Knowledge ..............................................................................................127 Privacy Protecting Behavior…

…141 Moderation Effects...............................................................................................143 Multi-Group Moderation Effects. ........................................................................145 Privacy Knowledge (…

…High versus Low) .........................................................145 Privacy Protecting Behaviors (High versus Low) .........................................146 Post Hoc Cluster Analysis…

…Exchanges ......................223 Appendix A3. Select Extant Literature About Privacy Concerns..............................225 APPENDIX B: Study 1 Support .....................................................................................229 Appendix B1…

…Procedures .................................................240 x Appendix D3. Privacy Knowledge: Evidence of Metric Invariance and Scalar Noninvariance .................................................................................................242…

…Appendix D4. Privacy Protecting Behaviors: Evidence of Invariance or Noninvariance in Constructs ......................................................................................243 Appendix D5. MGCFA Model Fit Statistics…

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