Research Insights: Better Angry Than Afraid
With commerce increasingly moving online, and with more and more consumers uploading personal data to websites, data breaches are deeply concerning. Research has focused more on the financial implications of such breaches and less on customer sentiments, the emotional responses that affect future online behavior.
In a co-authored article, “Better Angry Than Afraid: The Case of Post Data Breach Emotions on Customer Engagement,” published in IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Rajendran Murthy, Ph.D., associate professor and J. Warren McClure Research Professor in Marketing at Saunders College, department of MIS, marketing, and analytics, and his collaborators employed text and sentiment analysis of consumer responses to a data breach event to determine emotional response and revisit intentions. They found that angry customers vent their frustration but don’t change their patronage behavior, whereas fearful customers tend to disengage as a defense to avoid further breaches.
Murthy’s research has important managerial implications. After a data breach, managers must use analytics to identify customers based on recent site activity and assuage their fears to assure they do not withdraw or leave to a competitor.
View paper published in IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, July 2022: Better Angry Than Afraid: The Case of Post Data Breach Emotions on Customer Engagement.