Trust transfer occurs when a person bases his or her initial trust in an unknown target (a person, group, or organization) on the relationship between that unknown target and another source of trust (e.g., a well known organization). This study examines how hypertext links between organizations on the World Wide Web influence this process. A hypertext link between a trusted organization and an unknown organization has been shown to increase the extent to which consumers perceive that there is a relationship between the two organizations. Perceptions regarding the relationship between organizations have been shown to influence trust in the unknown organization. In the current study, these past findings are extended by examining how the type of link (an advertising link versus a link sent to a partner) and the direction of the link (from a trusted organization to an unknown organization or vice versa) influence the trust transfer process.
Stewart, Katherine and Zhang, Yali, "An Experimental Examination of the Effects of the Nature and Direction of Hypertext Links on Trust Transfer between Organizations" (2002). ICIS 2002 Proceedings. 61.