Abstract

This article aims to contribute to better understand what trust in information technology (IT) means. Past Management Information Systems (MIS) research has conceptualized trust in IT in a relatively homogeneous way as trust in IT-enabled and IT-mediated products and phenomena, neglecting trust in IT itself, and only marginally differentiate among the different sources of trust. All this make difficult to generalize findings and develop a well structured scientific corpus of knowledge about trust in IT. We re-conceptualize trust in IT and propose an integrative framework of Trust in IT Itself (TITI) to overcome the previous shortcomings. The framework is built on two axes. The first axis refers to the sources of the expectations about the IT, opposing the calculative-based trust and the not calculative-based ones. The second axis is about the attributes of the IT valued by the trustor and includes the trust in functionality of the IT and the trust in the reliability of the IT. The combination of the two axes create the conceptual space for a new definition of trust in IT itself. An empirical application of the framework is in progress. First data analysis show evidences in line with the new theoretical framework. Further research is planned to consolidate the validity of the framework.

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