Psychological Contract Violation and Sharing Intention on Facebook

AbstractWhile there is a psychological component to every written contract, it is particularly the case for exchanges on social network site (SNS), where users tend to ignore the user agreement. As a form of social exchange, content sharing on SNS is guided by psychological contract, i.e., implicit and assumed reciprocal obligations. This study investigates how psychological contract violations (PCVs) affect people’s sharing intentions on Facebook. Based on a survey of 347 Facebook users, we find that sharing intention is negatively influenced by interpersonal and institutional PCVs through SNS users’ information privacy concern and trust. Interestingly, PCV by another user positively influences the affected user’s perceived violation by the SNS, suggesting a collateral damage of interpersonal PCV towards SNS. This paper adds to the privacy literature on SNS by revealing the fundamental role of PCV that alters users’ trust and information privacy concern in online social exchange.

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