Abstract

Trust is a vital relationship concept that needs further conceptual analysis, not just empirical testing. Trust has been defined in so many ways by so many different researchers across disciplines that a typology of the various types of trust is sorely needed. This paper justifies and develops such an interdisciplinary typology and defines the constructs within the typology. These constructs, though defined at the personal level, are scalable to various levels of analysis and may be used in various trust situations, including IS/customer relations. Trust is central to interpersonal (Golembiewski & McConkie, 1975) and commercial (Morgan & Hunt, 1994) relationships. Trust is crucial wherever risk, uncertainty, or interdependence exist (Mayer, Davis & Schoorman, 1995; Mishra, 1996). These conditions flourish in many settings, and certainly exist in the relationship between Information Systems (IS) people and their customers. Trust has been found to be important to IS/customer performance (Nelson & Cooprider, 1996), and is also key in virtual teams (Jarvenpaa & Leidner, 1998) and e-commerce (Ba, Whinston & Zhang, 1999; Hoffman, et al., 1999; Jarvenpaa, Tranctinsky & Vitale, 1998; Noteberg, Christaanse & Wallage, 1999; Stewart, 1999). As conditions become more uncertain because of downsizing, mergers, and more complex business dealings, the need for trust grows (Mishra, 1996).

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