Online privacy as an integral component of strategy: allaying customer fears and building loyalty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This paper aims to demonstrate how building competency in privacy can be used to transform the corporate strategy to generate a sustainable competitive advantage. A novel framework is presented as a guide to redesigning strategy by striking a balance between customer expectation and organizational objectives. In doing so, the paper offers four possible outcomes of accommodation, accumulation, association and affiliation, providing illustrations to each scenario for strategy formulation.

Design/methodology/approach: The relationship between privacy paradox and corporate strategy was examined through a qualitative research study. The author conducted 30 in-depth interviews on grounded theory methodology investigating customer insights on the nature and extent of privacy protection associated with e-commerce and organizational approach.

Findings: The customers are dissatisfied with existing data security strategies adopted by firms in protecting privacy. The over-reliance on systems has negatively influenced the communication between the organization and customers, leading to a possible competitive disadvantage. The firms need to redesign privacy strategy shifting from a system-driven approach to providing personalized service.

Originality/value: This paper presents a novel framework the privacy strategy matrix (PSM), introducing privacy as a strategic expedient in transforming corporate strategy facilitating privacy protection as a metaphor for differentiation. PSM framework provides a standard to evaluate the effectiveness of the corporate strategy in managing privacy manifesting a path toward deriving a sustainable competitive advantage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Business Strategy
Issue number5
Early online date14 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2020


  • corporate strategy
  • e-commerce
  • competitive advantage
  • data breach
  • cyber-crime
  • privacy paradox

Cite this