Privacy Concerns versus Desire for Interpersonal Awareness in Driving the Use of Self-Disclosure Technologies: The Case of Instant Messaging in Two Cultures
Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 27(4), pp. 163–200 (doi: 10.2753/MIS0742-1222270406), 2011
66 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2010 Last revised: 10 Aug 2014
Date Written: August 29, 2010
Social computing technologies typically have multiple features that allow users to reveal their personal information to other users. Such self-disclosure (SD) behavior is generally considered positive and beneficial in interpersonal communication and relationships. Using a newly proposed model based on social exchange theory, this paper investigates and empirically validates the relationships between SD technology use and culture. In particular, we explore the effects of culture on information privacy concerns and the desire for online interpersonal awareness, which influence attitudes toward, intention to use, and actual use of SD technologies. Our model was tested using arguably the strongest social computing technology for online self-disclosure - instant messaging (IM) - with users from China and the US. Our findings reveal that cross-cultural dimensions are significant predictors of information privacy concerns and desire for online awareness, which were, in turn, found to be predictors of attitude toward, intention to use, and actual use of IM. Overall, our proposed model is applicable to both cultures. Our findings help enhance the theoretical understanding of the effects of culture and privacy concerns on SD technologies, and provide practical suggestions for developers of SD technologies, such as adding additional control features to applications.
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