Involvement, Elaboration and the Sources of Online Trust

Involvement, Elaboration and the Sources of Online Trust

Russell Williams (University of Aberdeen Business School, UK) and Philip J. Kitchen (University of Hull Business School, UK and ESC Rennes Business School, France)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/jthi.2009040101
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Establishing trust in online encounters has attracted significant recent research interest. A large part of this work focuses on those factors that can be manipulated on a website to influence consumers’ trusting beliefs. A notable part of this research concerns the influence of website infrastructure attributes [design and interaction elements] on consumers’ assessment of vendor trustworthiness in the absence of knowledge- based transactional experience. Developing this work further, we introduce the established marketing concepts of ‘involvement’ and ‘elaboration’. Consumer involvement describes the relevance of a situation or decision for an individual. In the marketing literature, the importance of this concept lies in the fact that it influences an individual’s information search and processing strategies. Noting this, propositions are advanced suggesting that the infrastructure attributes that individuals use as informational cues may in fact influence assessments of trusting beliefs differently according to whether individuals face high or low involvement situations.

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