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Title: The influence of the social net on consumer trust of companies
Author: Black, Katharine
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 7025
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2019
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The overall aim of this research is to explore the potential influence of the mechanisms of the social net on consumer trust of companies. The research seeks to investigate the connection between the corporate reputation factors important to consumers and the trust dimensions on which consumers assess trustworthiness, focusing on communications through Facebook as the largest social network. It looks at how the nature of the trust between the Facebook friends influences the assessment of trustworthiness and considers the role that Facebook mechanisms and a critical mass of engagement might have in this process. The research adopts Mayer, Davis and Schoorman's (1995) definition of trust. The data are collected using 44 semi-structured, in-depth interviews from a purposive sample of both genders, three generations and two socio-economic levels. The findings reveal a connection between the reputation factors important to consumers and the trust dimensions on which consumers assess company trustworthiness, providing a critical missing link between the stakeholder trust literature and the corporate reputation literature. The Consumer Trust Triage Model, developed from this research, shows how the level of interpersonal trust between Facebook friends affects the process by which consumers sort and assess information on corporate reputation that is posted on Facebook. These findings show how the Facebook mechanisms, along with a critical mass of engagement, also influence the assessment. Finally, the data reveals that trust is most often viewed by consumers as an act of purchase, not just a psychological state, thus advancing the discussion of the definition of trust.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General) ; HF Commerce