Type of Document Thesis Author Youn, Hyunsook Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-07132005-152234 Title The Interrelationships among Online Consumers: Level of Awareness of Spy Software, Personal Values, Innovativeness Characteristics and Concerns. Degree Master of Arts Department Communication, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Steven McClung Committee Chair Keywords
- Spy Software
- Privacy Concerns
- Security Concerns
- Online Consumers
Date of Defense 2005-05-11 Availability unrestricted AbstractAs the Internet has grown dramatically every year since the beginning of the 1990s, the diffusion of the Internet has involved many aspects. Its influence has reached not only the technical fields but also throughout the general society as we have moved toward increasing the effectiveness of online tools. The global and convenient nature of the Internet makes the medium a well-suited marketplace for shopping, and brought a closer relationship between consumers and marketers. As interactive technology has allowed people to use the Web for many different purposes and made it possible to increase online businesses and activities, marketers also have found advantages in communicating with customers directly through the Web and in gathering information of consumers to use in the creating of individual consumer profiles for more defined targeting. However, marketers’ data gathering practices have undermined consumers’ privacy and security. Users are not only fully informed of the nature or extent that online companies can collect information about users, but also not aware that spying software is being used without their consent or knowledge.
Since no previous research investigated the issues surrounding spy software, this study gave new insight into the fast-growing world of electronic commerce. Besides, our knowledge of why consumers systematically differ in their tendency to seek out new products is still sparse. In order to have a better explanation, this study approached this matter from the diffusion of innovations perspective. Consumer innovativeness is not only relevant for marketing theory, but also for marketing practice because companies rely increasingly on the success of new product
introductions for future growth and profitability. Consumers’ different tendency regarding their
different purchasing behavior also can be explained by marketing actions, personal
characteristics, personal values, level of concerns regarding privacy and security and innovation characteristics as well (Gatignon & Robertson, 1985; Korgaonkar & Wolin, 1999; Udo, 2001;Goldsmith, 2002).
By building the user-side perceptions of spy software, and investigating users’ awareness
of spy software, the study examined: the relationships between (a) awareness of spy software and privacy and security concerns, (b) awareness of spy software and behavioral characteristics. Also, with innovativeness characteristics, this study examined: the relationships between (c)innovativeness characteristics and the level of awareness of spy software, (d) innovativeness characteristics and privacy and security concerns. Lastly, using Kahle’s (1983) value scale – the List of Value (LOV), this study postulated important effects of personal values regarding their privacy and security concerns, awareness of spy software, and innovativeness characteristics.
The overall findings regarding the awareness of spy software indicated that the respondents have some level of awareness of Internet spy software, but are not well aware of what spy software is and what it is capable of. Respondents with higher level of awareness of spy software are likely to have lower level of security concerns, and it was confirmed that respondents with lower level of innovativeness characteristics are more likely concern about their security. Of innovativeness characteristics, only domain-specific innovativeness was positively related to the level of awareness of spy software in the current study. It was also found that more time they spent online per week and the longer they have been online shopping adopters have a significant influence on their level of awareness of spy software. Lastly, in terms of innovativeness characteristics and personal values, each of different personal values displayed unique predictive power on different innovativeness characteristics.
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