Researchers and academics from diverse disciplines have highlighted the role of ‘trust’ for establishing and strengthening existing relationships between individuals and organisations in the commercial and the social context. Various models have been proposed which aim to identify both the antecedents and outcomes of trust displayed towards e-commerce Web sites. Increased trust is generally shown to increase positive user attitude, which in turn is believed to increase the intention to buy. Studies have shown the antecedents of trust include variables such as the perceived reputation and size of the vendor organisation. The current paper investigates the role of trust on e-consumers from a cultural perspective. Religious sub-cultures have been targeted as the main study area for this paper’s research investigation. Participants recruited from Christian, Muslim and other faiths were asked to interact with online bookstores that identified with a Christian, Muslim or Neutral orientation. Neutral Web sites were those sites classified as devoid of any religious marketing, branding and logos. Trust and attitudes towards the Web sites were measured and this data was used to test the hypothesis that same-religion sites would be found more trustworthy and appealing than other religion or neutral sites. This hypothesis was partially supported, but only for the Muslim participants. It was found that the Muslim group expressed significantly more trust in the Muslim site compared to the Christian site. They also expressed significantly more positive attitudes towards the Muslim online bookstore than the other two sites. The implications of these results for theories of web based trust and attitude are discussed along with the practical implications of the findings.
Siala, Haytham and Siddiqui, Feroz, "The Impact of a ‘Theological’ Web Interface on Trust in the Context of Electronic Commerce" (2004). ICEB 2004 Proceedings. 160.