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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The influence of risk-reducing information technology tools on e-commerce transaction perceived risk Glover, Steven Charles


This research addressed the question of how information technology (IT) tools influence the perceived risk of consumers in e-commerce transactions in three phases. First, an exposure-driven model of e-commerce transaction perceived risk was developed and tested, providing a theoretical and conceptual basis for this research. Nine salient risk beliefs were modeled as formative dimensions of three risk belief categories based on prior perceived risk research: information misuse risk, performance risk, and functionality inefficiency risk. The model was tested in an online survey of 565 internet users. The results support the proposed construct of e-commerce transaction perceived risk, modeled as formed by the three proposed risk categories, validating the measurement model and finding that the construct was associated as expected with accepted e-commerce constructs in a nomological network. In the second phase, this model was used to examine the ways in which IT tools influence those beliefs. Participants were asked to observe an example of one risk-reducing IT tool (RRIT) and to indicate their willingness to use the tool for reducing the probability of each risk category and risk dimension. This research confirmed that consumers do perceive RRIT as being useful in reducing the probabilities of risk categories, compared to their willingness to adopt a control IT tool or other RRIT for that purpose. The final phase of this research investigates the adoption and influence of RRIT. Participants were shown an example RRIT and were asked to compare a store providing the tool to an identical website that did not provide the tool. This research supported hypotheses that perceived improvements in the probability of one or more of the risk dimensions when an RRIT is provided would lead to an intention to adopt the RRIT, and that the intention to adopt the RRIT would be associated with an improvement in attitude toward buying from a web retailer and the subsequent improvement in intention to buy from a web retailer.

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