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Title: A framework for customer trust measurement
Author: Kreikenberg, Alexander H.
Awarding Body: University of Gloucestershire
Current Institution: University of Gloucestershire
Date of Award: 2013
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Purpose – The research on trust, and specifically on trust measurement, has increased significantly over recent years. Although the importance of trust has reached theoreticians, as well as practitioners, the conceptualization, and particularly the measurement, of trust is underexplored within the field of management science. In addition, most trust measurement instruments were designed to suit a specific purpose or situation and therefore are too narrow in focus. Thus, the aim of this study is to conceptualize an appropriate measurement approach for customer trust that improves the practicability of trust measurement for various organizational settings. The focus is therefore to develop an instrument relevant for practitioners, as well as for theoreticians. Design/methodology/approach – After a literature review on relationship management, customer retention and customer trust, this research identifies current shortcomings in trust measurement: chiefly that current trust measurements are not flexible enough to be applied to various customer situations. Following a pragmatist research philosophy, this research first integrates two well established models of trust measurement and secondly expands this to create a more flexible and nuanced framework and instrument of customer trust measurement. The instrument is designed to measure the current and expected level of customer trust, as well as the economic intention and intra-personal level of trust. Three large scale test are conducted in cooperation with three German-based companies, covering non-durable, durable goods and services categories. Various segmentation criteria are applied. With the help of statistical analysis the various level of trust are linked to the intra-personal level of trust, as well as the economic-intent of the customer. Findings – The results from the three large scale studies indicate that the customer trust measurement instrument produces robust results. The instrument can be adjusted to each company‘s needs to measure the current and expected levels of customer (and non-customer) trust. Furthermore the current and expected levels of trust can be measured on a factor-, dimensional- and overall basis. Various segmentation criteria related to target groups can be applied. The overall level of trust can be linked to the economic intention of a customer group, but the indications are too weak to link trust to the intra-personal level of customer trust. Originality/value – To the best of my knowledge, there is no customer trust measurement that combines the measurement of trust in an trust object (trust dimension) and trust characteristics (trust building factor) to provide one trust measurement scale. However, by combining these two entities a trust measurement instrument gains the necessary flexibility and nuance to be used in various situations to measure customer trust. This step seems to be adequate because recent research concluded that this would be the “conditio sine qua non” for a useful measurement in trust research. Furthermore, all previous models and instruments only measure the current level of customer trust and do not link the level of customer trust to economic intention.
Supervisor: Ward, Philippa ; Brickau, Ralf Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD28 Management. Industrial Management ; HF Commerce