Understanding Trust in IT Artifacts – A New Conceptual Approach
8 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2014
Date Written: 2013
To add value to companies, IT artifacts – such as information systems – need to be adopted and used. Research and practice have shown that designing IT artifacts in a way that they are readily adopted and used is not trivial. To support designers, research has identified a plethora of factors driving the adoption and use of IT artifacts, with trust being one of the most important factors. Despite this knowledge, research on trust in IT artifact struggles to leverage its potential for IT artifact design, due to several disagreements among scholars. The goal of our paper is to present and reconcile the different competing arguments, and to provide a new conceptual approach to study trust in IT artifacts. The core argument of our approach is that trust is a suitable concept for studying relationships between humans and IT artifact, but trust in an IT artifact should not be studied without examining trust in the provider of the IT artifact. Whereas interpersonal trust theory is suitable to assess trust in the provider of the IT artifact, we propose a new conceptualization for trust in the IT artifact itself. Separately investigating trust in the provider of the IT artifact and trust in the IT artifact itself, will allow researchers to gather a deeper understanding of the nature of trust in IT artifacts and how it can be built. This knowledge will support designers in designing IT artifacts that are more readily adopted and used, and thus can provide the desired value to companies.
Keywords: trust, IT artifacts, trust in the IT artifact, trust in the provider of the IT artifact, conceptual paper
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