Pauline Ratnasingam (University of Vermont, USA)
Copyright: © 2003 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-93177-775-9.ch001
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In this chapter we introduce the motivation for the study and discuss the background of inter-organizational trust, followed by significant prior research leading to a rationale of this study. Then we discuss previous research in e-commerce adoption, its history, growth, and an analysis of the factors that drive and inhibit e-commerce adoption. E-commerce is the sharing of business information, maintaining business relationships, and conducting business transactions by means of telecommunications networks (Zwass, 1996:3). E-commerce applications facilitate communication and information exchanges between organizations, thereby enabling mass manufacturing, production, and customization to occur (Giaglis et al., 1998). E-commerce is changing the shape of competition, the dynamics of trading partner relationships, and the speed of fulfillment (Kalakota and Robinson, 2001). In this study, a trading partner is considered to be an organization which engages in business-to-business e-commerce. Trading partners can play various roles of suppliers, merchants, brokers, or customers. They interact with one another to form Inter-organizational relationships (IOR’s). To avoid the possibility of anthropomorphizing the organization, and inferring that the trustor is an organization, inter-firm trust is viewed as the collectively held cognitive belief of a group of well-informed individuals within a firm (Zaheer, McEvily, and Perrone, 1998). Thus, in this study the terms trading partner trust and inter-organizational trust are used interchangeably.

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