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Developing and Validating Trust Measures for e-Commerce: An Integrative Typology


  • D. Harrison McKnight

    (Accounting and Information Systems Department, The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1121)

  • Vivek Choudhury

    (Information Systems Department, College of Business Administration, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio 45221)

  • Charles Kacmar

    (Management Information Systems Department, College of Business, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida 32306-1110)


Evidence suggests that consumers often hesitate to transact with Web-based vendors because of uncertainty about vendor behavior or the perceived risk of having personal information stolen by hackers. Trust plays a central role in helping consumers overcome perceptions of risk and insecurity. Trust makes consumers comfortable sharing personal information, making purchases, and acting on Web vendor advice—behaviors essential to widespread adoption of e-commerce. Therefore, trust is critical to both researchers and practitioners. Prior research on e-commerce trust has used diverse, incomplete, and inconsistent definitions of trust, making it difficult to compare results across studies. This paper contributes by proposing and validating measures for a multidisciplinary, multidimensional model of trust in e-commerce. The model includes four high-level constructs---disposition to trust, institution-based trust, trusting beliefs, and trusting intentions---which are further delineated into 16 measurable, literature-grounded subconstructs. The psychometric properties of the measures are demonstrated through use of a hypothetical, legal advice Web site. The results show that trust is indeed a multidimensional concept. Proposed relationships among the trust constructs are tested (for internal nomological validity), as are relationships between the trust constructs and three other e-commerce constructs (for external nomological validity), as Web experience, personal innovativeness, and Web site quality. Suggestions for future research as well as implications for practice are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • D. Harrison McKnight & Vivek Choudhury & Charles Kacmar, 2002. "Developing and Validating Trust Measures for e-Commerce: An Integrative Typology," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 13(3), pages 334-359, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:orisre:v:13:y:2002:i:3:p:334-359
    DOI: 10.1287/isre.13.3.334.81

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    References listed on IDEAS

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