Date of Award

Summer 8-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


This dissertation explores consumer privacy, an issue that has received substantial attention recently. The first aim of this dissertation is to redefine consumer privacy. Research in marketing has focused primarily on consumer privacy concern but has not explicitly defined consumer privacy itself. Further, research on consumer privacy has resulted in fragmented definitions, which are siloed across disciplines, organizations, ethical and legal realms. This fragmented approach to consumer privacy research has left more gaps than the answers it seeks to provide. A more fitting definition of privacy, conceptualized along a continuum of total exposure to total anonymity, is offered. Actual privacy is defined as an individual’s state or condition concerning the degree to which information about a person is not known by others and ranges on a continuum from total exposure (low privacy) to total anonymity (high privacy).” Further, a differentiation between actual privacy (i.e., an individual’s state of privacy) versus perceived privacy (i.e., an individual’s belief of their privacy state) is also presented. Perceived privacy is defined as the degree to which an individual believes that information about themselves is not known by others and ranges on a continuum from total exposure (low privacy) to total anonymity (high privacy).

Also, a framework of consumer’s information privacy levels, consisting of seven levels, is presented. Knowledge of the different levels of consumers’ information privacy provides marketers with a definite approach on how to handle consumers’ information, and what level of privacy is most concerning for consumers.

Finally, this dissertation reports the results of an experimental study (n = 631), conducted through Qualtrics. The study contained two parts. Part 1 was a 2 (relationship quality) x 2 (perceived convenience) between subjects design. Part 2 manipulated privacy violation. Data were analyzed using SEM. Results of part 1 show that relationship quality positively influences privacy relinquishing intentions and negatively influences privacy safeguarding intentions. Similarly, perceived convenience has a positive effect on relinquishing and a negative effect on safeguarding. In addition, disposition to value privacy has a moderating effect on the relationship between relationship quality and safeguarding intentions, where respondents in the high disposition to value privacy were less willing to relinquish information. Interestingly, respondents in the high disposition to value privacy reported lower intention to safeguard their privacy. This finding is consistent with the privacy paradox phenomena, which suggests that while consumers may express their concern for privacy, their behaviors are contradicting and do not employ any protective privacy measures. Results of part 2 show that privacy violation caused a positive effect on betrayal, and betrayal led to less privacy relinquishing intentions and high safeguarding intentions. Theoretical and managerial implications are also included.