Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (PhD)

Degree Level



Information Systems


Moez Limayem

Committee Member

Fred Davis

Second Committee Member

Timothy P. Cronan

Third Committee Member

Ronn J. Smith


Social sciences, Applied sciences, Psychology, Architectural privacy, Interpersonal privacy, Privacy, Social media, Trust


With increasing usage of Social networking sites like Facebook there is a need to study privacy. Previous research has placed more emphasis on outcome-oriented contexts, such as e-commerce sites. In process-oriented contexts, like Facebook, privacy has become a source of conflict for users. The majority of architectural privacy (e.g. privacy policies, website mechanisms) enables the relationship between a user and business, focusing on the institutional privacy concern and trust; however, architectural privacy mechanisms that enables relationships between and among users is lacking. This leaves users the responsibility to manage privacy for their interpersonal relationships. This research focuses on the following question: "How does privacy influence the sharing of personal information in interpersonal relationships on Social networking sites?" The management of the sharing of personal information is explained using the Need to Belong theory, psychological contract, and approach-avoidance motivation theory. Individuals' desire to interact Socially and engage in relationships where respect for personal information is implied leads to overcoming concerns over privacy.

Three essays address the question of interest. Essay 1 explains that this drive is motivated by a fear of Social exclusion from Social transactions and interpersonal relationships and does not rely on the institutional relationship between a user and the Social media website. Essay 2 uses a Social network analysis lens to describe how the multiplexity of relationships and Social influences (both of the network and the self) influence Social interaction and the sharing of personal information. Essay 3 focuses on explaining how individuals' disposition toward subconscious processes of approach or avoidance motivation influence decisions to share and not share personal information. The implication of these studies is that privacy in a process-oriented context--like Facebook--involves different attitudes and beliefs centered on interpersonal relationships rather than institutional ones.