The interplay between privacy failure, recovery and crisis communication management: an integrative review and research agenda

  • Francesca Negri
  • Marco Ieva
Keywords: privacy; privacy failure; service recovery; service crisis recovery; crisis communication; data breach; integrative literature review


Purpose of the paper: To integrate different research streams related to privacy, service recovery and crisis communication management in order to systematize and summarize the existing knowledge on recovery after a privacy failure. It also aims to develop an agenda for future research.

Methodology: An integrative literature review assesses and synthesizes previous literature, integrating multiple research streams and proposing a new theoretical framework and research agenda. We identify articles of potential interest in three online databases using keywords, and select those relating to privacy and privacy failure, crisis communication management and service recovery after privacy failure across multiple industries.

Findings: Reviewing literature streams on privacy, service recovery and crisis communication management reveals that multiple theories and approaches have been used to focus on this topic. The most widely used are Justice Theory, Attribution Theory and Situational Crisis Communication Theory. The fragmentation of theories and approaches in different research streams reveals the need for a comprehensive overview of the growing complexity of the phenomenon. Key variables explaining how consumers react to service recovery after privacy failure are identified and summarized in a framework.

Research limits: Because the number of publications is rising rapidly, quantitative insights require methodologies such as a systematic literature review or a meta-analysis.

Practical implications: Findings have implications and offer directions for future academic research.

Originality of the paper: This is the first paper that attempts to integrate different research streams in service recovery from privacy failure to develop a theoretical overview on the topic and to attract academic attention on the interplay between privacy failure, recovery and crisis communication management.


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