What We Really Know About Antecedents of Trust: A Critical Review of the Empirical Information Systems Literature on Trust

Psychology of Trust: New Research, D. Gefen, Verlag/Publisher: Nova Science Publishers, 2013

30 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2014

See all articles by Matthias Söllner

Matthias Söllner

University of Kassel - Information Systems; University of St. Gallen - Institute of Information Management

J. M. Leimeister

University of St. Gallen; University of Kassel - Information Systems

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

The importance of trust for information systems research has been shown in different domains such as e-commerce, virtual communities, and generally in the adoption of new technologies. Due to its importance, a plethora of studies has identified numerous antecedents helping to build trust. However, a recent study pointed out that measurement model mis-specification questions the reliability of empirical results published in the information systems field. Since trust is supposed to be increasingly in demand due to the increasing complexity technological progress will cause, it is important to investigate the current body of knowledge on trust regarding its reliability to guide future research. To achieve this goal, this chapter is guided by two research questions: a) What different antecedents of trust have been identified in the information systems literature? and b) how reliable are the reported results in terms of measurement model specification? To answer the two research questions, we conducted a literature review among the eight journals of the AIS senior scholars‘ basket of journals, and reviewed all trust-related articles published between 1995 and 2012. To assessing the reliability of the reported results, we rely on the insights on measurement model specification. Regarding research question 1, we identified a plethora of different antecedents that have been identified for different trust relationships in different contexts in the literature. Regarding research question 2, we found that measurement model mis-specification issues might be a serious issue in information systems trust research. The most common issue we identified is the use of formative indicators in reflective measurement models. As a result, the identified structural relationships between trust and its antecedents in these studies might actaally be insignificant, due to Type I errors. Nevertheless, we identified some recent articles that addressed this problem and used correctly specified measurement models. However, other recent articles still suffer from measurement model mis-specification, and we thus what to highlight again the importance of specifying correct measurement models to increase the reliability of the information systems knowledge base on trust. To the best of our knowledge this chapter is the first literature review on information systems trust research especially focusing on the reliability of the published results in terms of methodological rigor.

Keywords: Trust, antecedents, information systems research, measurement model specification

Suggested Citation

Söllner, Matthias and Leimeister, Jan Marco, What We Really Know About Antecedents of Trust: A Critical Review of the Empirical Information Systems Literature on Trust (2013). Psychology of Trust: New Research, D. Gefen, Verlag/Publisher: Nova Science Publishers, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2475385

Matthias Söllner

University of Kassel - Information Systems ( email )

Pfannkuchstraße 1
Kassel, 34121
Germany

University of St. Gallen - Institute of Information Management ( email )

Müller-Friedberg-Str. 8
St. Gallen, 9000
Switzerland

Jan Marco Leimeister (Contact Author)

University of St. Gallen ( email )

Varnbuelstr. 14
Saint Gallen, St. Gallen CH-9000
Switzerland

University of Kassel - Information Systems ( email )

Pfannkuchstraße 1
Kassel, 34121
Germany

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