This research explores how manifesting a firm’s commitments to green environment and ecological sustainability by web-design elements may build online trust equity for the firm. Using an exploratory analysis of websites, we have identified four categories of web-design elements that could manifest companies’ commitment for green environment. Survey data indicates that these categories of web elements have the potential to change customers’ opinions regarding a company. To explore this potential, we propose a conceptual model that explores the relationship between the level of web vendors’ pro-environmental commitment and online trust equity as moderated by their salient environmental beliefs. The conceptualization uses the protection motivation theory as the overarching theory. This paper makes number of novel contributions. It is the first identify the categories of web-design elements that manifest companies’ extent of pro-environment commitments. It develops a theory-based conceptual model to examine the relationship between environmentally sustainable activities and online trust equity. Moreover, beyond legal compliance and cost reduction benefits, this research project seeks to examine if the commitment to green environment as manifested in web elements adds business value to companies in terms of trust equity in relationships with its stakeholders.
Albizri, Abdullah and Zahedi, Fatemeh, "Enhancing Trust Equity by Web-Design Elements that Manifest Pro-Environment Commitments" (2012). MWAIS 2012 Proceedings. 9.