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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Developing trust reciprocity in e-government : the role of felt trust Dashti, Ali E.Q.H.A.


Citizens’ levels of trust in e-government, has been proposed as an important impediment to increased utilization of e-government. Although there is a large amount of literature on online trust, no study to date has examined the impact of felt trust - a person’s feeling of being trusted - on the adoption of electronic business in general, or online government services in particular. No study has examined how IT artifacts on websites make citizens feel that they are trusted by the government, and how that “felt trust” could affect citizens’ trust in websites and, subsequently, users’ adoption of these websites. This “felt trust” construct, which is new to the IS literature, has received the attention of scholars in other disciplines; their empirical works, framed in theories such as Social Exchange Theory, Leader-Member Exchange Theory, and Appropriateness Framework, have shown that perceptions of felt trust lead to trust-related behaviour and other considerations (e.g., satisfaction and loyalty). A series of qualitative studies, were conducted to identify the antecedents of trust and felt trust. Next, a model of e-government adoption was tested using data collected from 254 participants in an online survey. Felt trust was found to be the most important factor in building trust, and trust fully mediated felt trust’s impact on the antecedents of adoption (i.e., perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and perceived risk). The convergent and discriminant validities demonstrated not only the difference between felt trust and trust as constructs, but also the difference between these constructs in both online and offline environments. The Information Systems research community should focus more on the construct of felt trust by investigating its influence on other outcome variables such as satisfaction with trustees (e.g. e-vendors), the productivity of virtual teams, and success of outsourcing relationships. Existing IS research findings can also be re-evaluated in light of the importance of this new construct to determine whether existing IT artifacts used or systems implemented to build trust were successful, not because they improved trust directly, but because they triggered felt trust, which, in turn, improved trust.

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