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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Just Tell Me What You Want…: The Relevance of Information Transparency on the Use and Handling of Customers’ Data

Published: May 25, 2021


Tobias Roeding, University of Siegen; Sascha Steinmann, Aarhus University, Department of Management; Hanna Schramm-Klein, University of Siegen


The collection and goal-oriented use of customer data is considered as a strategic success factor in modern retailing. However, due to privacy concerns gathering of customer data is often not easy from a company perspective. Hence, it is surprising that there is a lack of research on customers’ reaction on companies’ communication on information transparency regarding the data-use and -handling. To close this gap, our research refers to Information Processing Model as well as Privacy Calculus Theory, manipulating service providers’ information transparency in the context of product presentation in an online shop. By conducting an online experiment (N=87), we identified an ambivalent behaviour by the customer, facing a higher interest to purchase, but a lower willingness to pay, given transparent information. Customers mental accounting on companies’ information transparency follows divergent pattern, in this regard. Moreover, privacy concerns related to the use of the product mediate this relation. Based on the findings, implications for future research and management are discussed.