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Open Information Science

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Risk as a Predictor of Online Competitive Information Acquisition

Daphne Ruth Raban / Lior Koren
Published Online: 2019-04-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opis-2019-0004


This study set out to investigate how personal user traits and behavior and information cues influence the acquisition of online information for actionable decisions. The relationship between personal traits (risk propensity and individual information absorptive capacity), behavioral factors (perceived risk and willingness-to-pay) and informational cues (scenario risk level) was examined by conducting an experiment with 125 mid-level managers. Participants were exposed to high- and low-risk scenarios, given the opportunity to consume free and fee-based competitive information sources, and asked to make a managerial decision. Results of the Willingness-to-Pay (WTP) for information sources indicate: (i) a significant correlation between the perceived risk and WTP, (ii) a significant correlation between the perceived risk and the number of competitive intelligence information items bought, (iii) individual absorptive capacity has high internal reliability, and (iv) investment risk propensity and individual information absorptive capacity did not influence WTP or willingness-to-consume competitive intelligence information. Informational cues rather than personal traits impact decision makers' WTP and willingness to-consume competitive intelligence information. This suggests that best practices should be developed for the use of online information sources in decision-making calibrated to the risk level. Risk level indication may also aid to avoid biases stemming from under- or overuse of information.

Keywords: competitive intelligence; willingness-to-pay (WTP(; risk propensity; individual absorptive capacity (IACAP(; decision-making; Information Behavior (IB(


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About the article

Received: 2018-07-09

Accepted: 2019-01-15

Published Online: 2019-04-05

Published in Print: 2019-01-01

Citation Information: Open Information Science, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 47–60, ISSN (Online) 2451-1781, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opis-2019-0004.

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© 2019 Daphne Ruth Raban et al., published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License. BY 4.0

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