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On the Need to Include National Culture as a Central Issue in E-Commerce Trust Beliefs

On the Need to Include National Culture as a Central Issue in E-Commerce Trust Beliefs
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Author(s): David Gefen (Drexel University, USA) and Tsipi Heart (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 23
Source title: Selected Readings on Electronic Commerce Technologies: Contemporary Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Wen-Chen Hu (University of North Dakota, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-096-7.ch025

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Abstract

Trust and trust beliefs (trustworthiness) are key to e-commerce success but depend, to a large extent, on culture. With e-commerce being an international phenomenon, understanding the cross-cultural aspects of trust creation is therefore arguably required although mostly ignored by current research which deals almost exclusively with the U.S. This exploratory study examines whether definitions of trust beliefs as conceptualized and verified in the U.S. apply in Israel which differs markedly in individualism, uncertainty avoidance, and power distance. The data, crossvalidating the scale of trust and its antecedents in both cultures, generally support the proposition that trust beliefs apply across cultures, and may be a relatively unvarying aspect of e-commerce. However, as expected, the effects of predictability and familiarity on trust beliefs may differ across national cultures. Implications about the need to include national culture in the research on trust, in general, and in e-commerce in particular, are discussed.

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