Why Negative Information is Positive – Increasing Perceived Trustworthiness of Cloud Computing Providers through Risk Communication via Websites

Öksüz A, Walter N, Montag S, Becker J

Cloud Computing is a technology that is perceived as both, an opportunity and a risk at the same time. While the risks associated with cloud services are hardly communicated on cloud providers' websites, previous research on risk communication shows that being honest and creating more transparency by communicating negative information helps providers in being perceived as more credible and trustworthy. The results of our online experiment show that communicating additional negative information besides positive information increases the perceived integrity of a cloud provider. Moreover, when communication is framed as stemming from an IT Manager, perceived competence and integrity of the provider may further be increased. The results of our study indicate that communication of online risks is an important field of study. In contrast to shiny websites, we recommend a more honest communication with potential cloud users. Communicating risks may help both parties - users and providers at the same time.

Risk communication; negative information; trust; human images; competence; benevolence; integrity

Publication type
Forschungsartikel in Sammelband (Konferenz)

Peer reviewed

Publication status


13th Annual Workshop on HCI Research in MIS (SIGHCI 2014)

Auckland, New Zealand