Online Interaction with Millenials: Institution vs. Community

Online Interaction with Millenials: Institution vs. Community

Kurt Komaromi (Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, USA), Fahri Unsal (Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, USA) and G. Scott Erickson (Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/ijcwt.2013010104


Trust in exchanges is an important concept in business and has become of topic of some interest in e-commerce. Substantial work has been done on how institutional mechanisms, technology, word-of-mouth, and numerous other variables affect trust in a website and potential customers’ willingness to conduct business there. This study continues that line of research by considering how the millennial generation perceives the trustworthiness of three types of online sites: a retailer, an auction site, and a social networking site. Little work has been done on whether social network sites have more or less trust than other types of websites and what aspects of trust are affected. Given the broad trend toward utilizing these social network sites for commercial purposes, it makes sense to assess how targeted users view and interact with them. This study presents preliminary data on all of these issues, suggesting that there do appear to be differences between social network sites and more traditional online vendors.
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Much of the relevant literature related to this topic falls into the arena of technology acceptance and usage. That stream of literature has a number of useful models and brings in concepts such as technology and personal characteristics that are of interest. We’ll discuss these shortly, but all depend in some way on the idea of trust, which is core to approaching websites, accessing and accepting information, and completing exchanges. As this is the broader topic, we’ll address trust first.

The conceptual basis of trust came out of sociology (e.g. Gambetta 1988). Garfinkel (1963) established a number of critical ideas: trust is apparent in individual action; it is interactive in terms of relationships, expectations and behavior of others; and it is based on symbiosis and exchange. Further, trust is dependent on situation and circumstance (Baier 1986), and individuals develop routines based on the conditions of a particular trust relationship (Giddens 1991).

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