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Information Technology and Management

, Volume 5, Issue 1–2, pp 181–207 | Cite as

Understanding Customer Trust in Agent-Mediated Electronic Commerce, Web-Mediated Electronic Commerce, and Traditional Commerce

  • Sherrie Xiao Komiak
  • Izak Benbasat
Article

Abstract

Customer trust is important in agent-mediated electronic commerce, web-mediated electronic commerce, and traditional commerce. However, the meaning of customer trust in these contexts has not been clearly defined or fully delineated. This paper proposes a new trust model that differentiates between cognitive trust and emotional trust, defines customer trust in each type of commerce as cognitive trust and emotional trust in the various entities (e.g., website, computer agent) that make up a commerce context, and then compares customer trust across the three types of commerce. We propose that, first, emotional trust merits research, particularly in e-commerce. Second, both awareness of the known and awareness of the unknown will be higher in e-commerce than in traditional commerce; this will lead to lower cognitive trust and emotional trust in e-commerce. Third, the key to increase customer trust in e-commerce is to design and develop technologies to reduce the distance between a customer and each entity, thereby increasing awareness of the known and decreasing awareness of the unknown. Fourth, cognitive trust and emotional trust fall along a continuum with potentially asymmetric effects on customer dependence on entities in e-commerce (e.g., computer agent adoption). Finally, future research on customer trust in e-commerce is outlined.

electronic commerce cognitive trust emotional trust awareness of the known awareness of the unknown dependence 

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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Business AdministrationMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John'sCanada
  2. 2.Canadian Sauder School of BusinessUniversity of British ColumbiaCanada

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