A Preliminary Investigation of
the Effect of Social Media on
Affective Trust in Customer-
Supplier Relationships
Fabio Cal...
Collaborative Computing
@University of Bari
Fabio Calefato
Postdoc research
assistant
Filippo Lanubile
Associate professor...
Research activities @
COLLAB
Active projects
 Machine Translation in
Multilingual Requirements
Meetings
 Social Awarenes...
Goal of the study
4/25
 Understanding the process of trust building
towards a SME based on its web presence
 Perception ...
Trust
 The belief that the trustee will behave
according to our expectation
 Key issue in human relationships
 Virtual ...
Trust Antecedents
ACII 2013
6/25
INTEGRITY
The intrinsic moral norms a trustee
guard his action with
BENEVOLENCE
The perce...
Bidimensional model
 Cognitive Trust: ‘cognition-based trust
results from deliberate assessment of other’s
characteristic...
Trust Model
ACII 2013
8/25
PREDICTABILITY
The degree to which a person meets
the expectation of the trustor in terms
of pr...
Research Hypothesis
 H1- Traditional websites (content-oriented)
and social media (interaction-oriented)
have a different...
Assessing the perceived
trustworthiness
 Questionnaire based on Likert scale (1 to 5)
 integrates guidelines provided by...
Assessing the perceived
trustworthiness
 Self reporting about perceived
trustworthiness
 Which company do you perceive a...
Study design
Company A Company B
Traditional Website Group 1 Group 2
Social Media Group 2 Group 1
ACII 2013 12/25
 Depend...
Procedure
13/25
 19 students from M.Sc. Course in CS
 16 males
 25 years old (avg)
 Facebook users on a daily basis
 ...
Combined effect of factors
on Cognitive Trust
14/25
ACII 2013
Combined effect of factors
on Affective Trust
15/25
ACII 2013
ANOVA on affective trust for the
two companies
Company Effect of Web Mode
F P
A 1.211 0.287
B 22.152 0.000
 Need for cont...
Replication of the study
Dependent
Variable
(TRUST)
F p
Web Mode Cognitive 0,003 0,954
Affective 7,263 0,009
Company Cogni...
Analysis of self reportING
Questionnaires and Interviews
ACII 2013
Impact of social media on
affective trust
 58% of subjects indicated as more benevolent
the company for which they examin...
Impact of social media on
cognitive trust
 Presence of social media is perceived as an
implicit statement of quality of g...
Different roles of websites
and social media
 Traditional website is considered as the
‘business card’ of a website while...
 Subjects declare they need both source of
information to form their own opinion about
unknown companies
 Social media a...
Threats to study validity
 External validity: limited possibility of
generalizing the findings
 Same background, same le...
Conclusions and Future
Work
 Partial support to H1a about social media
influencing affective trust building
 Social medi...
ACII 2013
Thank you
Fabio Calefato
fabio.calefato@uniba.it
Filippo Lanubile
filippo.lanubile@uniba.it
Nicole Novielli
nico...
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A Preliminary Investigation of the Effect of Social Media on Affective Trust in Customer-Supplier Relationships @ACII 2013 (www.acii2013.org)

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We present the preliminary results of an ongoing research aimed at investigating the role of social media in the process of trust building, with particular attention to the case of small-medium enterprises (SME). Our findings show that social media contribute to increase the affective trust more than traditional websites. This result suggests that social media have the potential to enhance the business of SMEs other than large companies, by fostering the affective commitment of customers.

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  • Schumann et al., 2012 - Supporting Initial Trust in Distributed Idea Generation and Evaluation Riegelsberger et al., 2003 - Shiny Happy People Building Trust? Photos on e-Commerce Websites and Consumer Trust Büttner, O. B., and Göritz, A. S, 2008 - Perceived trustworthiness of online shops Al-Ani et al., 2009 – In Strangers We trust? Findings of an Emiprical Study of Distributed Teams Hung et al., 2004 - Trust in Virtual Teams: Towards an Integrative Model of Trust Formation Rusman et al, 2010 - Fostering trust in virtual project teams Meyer et al., 1995 – An integrative model of organizational trust - Academy of Management Review
  • According to literature [19], we assume that cognition-based trust building is triggered by appraisal of professional information that can be usually acquired through a traditional website. In addition, trust has been demonstrated to be paramount for consumer behavior towards online shops [3] and the perceived trustworthiness has been found to be fundamental in the evaluation of the online image of stores [8]. Before social media became popular and reached worldwide diffusion, traditional websites have been the only web channel that vendors could exploit for self-promotion and for building an online image of a competent company. However, recent research on customer loyalty towards online stores has demonstrated that trust could be further improved by enhancing the perception of the company integrity and benevolence [10], which both refer to affective trust. In customer-supplier relationship, this goal is easily achieved through face-to-face interaction and by establishing peer-to-peer relationships. Since direct interaction is not always possible to realize, social media gives companies the opportunity of implementing this behavior over the Web [2] using a more informal, closer interaction style between a company or a salesperson and their customers with respect to traditional websites.
  • Allow us to have a better insight on which characteristics and functionalities of both traditional Websites and Social Media Web 2.0 affect the trust building and how (i.e. along which dimensions).
  • A pre-condition for the participation was that the subject had never browsed any of the two company websites. Controlled environment Lab with experimenter All people simultaneously involved At the end of the web-based part of the experiment, subjects were interviewed by an experimenter
  • We investigated the role of social media in trust building and its ability to foster trust by increasing the vendor’s perceived trustworthiness along the affective dimension. In particular, we have directly addressed: (i) the impact of social media on affective trust, based on first impression; (ii) the potential of social software for small companies that want to build an online trustworthy image of their stores. We tested two hypotheses, namely H1a (social media enhance affective trust building in customer-supplier relationships) and H1b (traditional websites enhance cognitive trust building in customer-supplier relationships).
  • A Preliminary Investigation of the Effect of Social Media on Affective Trust in Customer-Supplier Relationships @ACII 2013 (www.acii2013.org)

    1. 1. A Preliminary Investigation of the Effect of Social Media on Affective Trust in Customer- Supplier Relationships Fabio Calefato, Filippo Lanubile, Nicole Novielli Department of Computer Science University of Bari
    2. 2. Collaborative Computing @University of Bari Fabio Calefato Postdoc research assistant Filippo Lanubile Associate professor Nicole Novielli Postdoc research assistant COLLAB - Collaborative Development Group http://cdg.di.uniba.itACII 2013 2/25
    3. 3. Research activities @ COLLAB Active projects  Machine Translation in Multilingual Requirements Meetings  Social Awareness in a Collaborative Development Environment  Social Media and Trust Building in Customer- Supplier Relationships Open Source Software  eConferenceMT  SocialTFS, SocialCDE  Enterprise Social Aggregator http://cdg.di.uniba.it ACII 2013 3/25
    4. 4. Goal of the study 4/25  Understanding the process of trust building towards a SME based on its web presence  Perception based on first impression  Role of the traditional websites vs. social media in trust building ACII 2013
    5. 5. Trust  The belief that the trustee will behave according to our expectation  Key issue in human relationships  Virtual teams [Rusman et al., 2010, Hung et al., 2004, Al-Ani et al., 2009]  E-commerce [Büttner and Göritz, 2008, Riegelsberger et al., 2003]  Needs to be established as soon as possible  Importance of first impression and information provision on the trustee [Schumann et al., 2012] ACII 2013 5/25
    6. 6. Trust Antecedents ACII 2013 6/25 INTEGRITY The intrinsic moral norms a trustee guard his action with BENEVOLENCE The perceived level of courtesy and positive attitude ABILITY Capability of a trustee (based on knowledge, competence and skills) to perform tasks within a specific domain Tripod Model (Mayer et al., 1995) Tripod Model (Mayer et al., 1995) PREDICTABILITY (McKingth et al., 1998) The degree to which a person meets the expectation of the trustor in terms of predictability and consistence of behavior Extending the model
    7. 7. Bidimensional model  Cognitive Trust: ‘cognition-based trust results from deliberate assessment of other’s characteristics and the process o weighting benefits of trusting over risks‘  Affective Trust: ‘affect-based trust involves one’s emotional bonds and sincere concern for the well being of the others’ ACII 2013 7/25
    8. 8. Trust Model ACII 2013 8/25 PREDICTABILITY The degree to which a person meets the expectation of the trustor in terms of predictability and consistence of behavior Cognitive Trust (Schumann et al., 2012) Cognitive Trust (Schumann et al., 2012) Affective Trust (Schumann et al., 2012) Affective Trust (Schumann et al., 2012) INTEGRITY The intrinsic moral norms a trustee guard his action with BENEVOLENCE The perceived level of courtesy and positive attitude ABILITY Capability of a trustee (based on knowledge, competence and skills) to perform tasks within a specific domain
    9. 9. Research Hypothesis  H1- Traditional websites (content-oriented) and social media (interaction-oriented) have a different effect on trust building in customer-supplier relationships.  H1a – As compared to traditional websites, social media enhance affective trust building in customer-supplier relationships.  H1b – As compared to social media, traditional websites enhance cognitive trust building in customer-supplier relationships. 9/25 ACII 2013
    10. 10. Assessing the perceived trustworthiness  Questionnaire based on Likert scale (1 to 5)  integrates guidelines provided by previous studies about trust elicitation and perception based on first impression [Büttner and Göritz, 2008; Rusman et al., 2010]  21 Questions related to the antecedents  Cognitive trust: 7 items for ability and 3 for predictability  Affective trust: 11 items for benevolence  We do not assess Integrity as it is peculiar of long-term relationships [Schumann et al., 2012; Rusman et al., 2010] ACII 2013 10/25
    11. 11. Assessing the perceived trustworthiness  Self reporting about perceived trustworthiness  Which company do you perceive as the more reliable? Why  Which company would you choose for the catering service? Why?  Which company seems to be more concerned about the wellbeing and needs of its customers?  …  Final (exit) discussion between participants and experimenter 11/25 ACII 2013
    12. 12. Study design Company A Company B Traditional Website Group 1 Group 2 Social Media Group 2 Group 1 ACII 2013 12/25  Dependent variables  Cognitive trust  Affective trust  Catering scenario  Involves social aspects
    13. 13. Procedure 13/25  19 students from M.Sc. Course in CS  16 males  25 years old (avg)  Facebook users on a daily basis  They often use the Internet for their purchases ACII 2013
    14. 14. Combined effect of factors on Cognitive Trust 14/25 ACII 2013
    15. 15. Combined effect of factors on Affective Trust 15/25 ACII 2013
    16. 16. ANOVA on affective trust for the two companies Company Effect of Web Mode F P A 1.211 0.287 B 22.152 0.000  Need for controlling the equivalence of information elements for the two companies in the two web settings in future replications of the study 16/25 ACII 2013
    17. 17. Replication of the study Dependent Variable (TRUST) F p Web Mode Cognitive 0,003 0,954 Affective 7,263 0,009 Company Cognitive 1,52 0,221 Affective 0,287 0,594 Web Mode * Company Cognitive 0,982 0,325 Affective 2,797 0,098 17/25  44 participants  Computer Science master courses and the undergraduate degree in Physics  66% male  24 as average age ACII 2013
    18. 18. Analysis of self reportING Questionnaires and Interviews ACII 2013
    19. 19. Impact of social media on affective trust  58% of subjects indicated as more benevolent the company for which they examined the Facebook page  Openness to customers’ suggestions and feedback is regarded as a sign of interest in their satisfaction  Social media used to catch the ‘atmosphere’ of a work environment  i.e. the mood and courtesy of staff  the disposition of the owners towards the customers 19/25 ACII 2013
    20. 20. Impact of social media on cognitive trust  Presence of social media is perceived as an implicit statement of quality of goods/services  The company is directly exposed to customers’ feedback  The company provides pictures of goods, location and staff 20/25 ACII 2013
    21. 21. Different roles of websites and social media  Traditional website is considered as the ‘business card’ of a website while Social media are regarded as the way of fostering customer loyalty  Establishing personal relationship  Openness to customers’ feedback  Huge amount of material available 21/25 ACII 2013
    22. 22.  Subjects declare they need both source of information to form their own opinion about unknown companies  Social media are accessed first  In case of positive opinion the website is accessed  Social media as a new version of word-of- mouth [Blanchard, 2011]  First impression based on social media  Traditional websites are used to retrieve business related information  which goods/services, prices, locations, purchase conditions ACII 2013 22/25 Different roles of websites and social media
    23. 23. Threats to study validity  External validity: limited possibility of generalizing the findings  Same background, same level of familiarity with e-commerce and social media  Conclusion validity  Minimal pool of participants  Internal validity: study design  Both groups evaluated both web conditions but on different companies 23/25 ACII 2013
    24. 24. Conclusions and Future Work  Partial support to H1a about social media influencing affective trust building  Social media might have a significant role in enhancing affective trust building based on first impression  Larger and more varied pool of participants (age, background, gender)  Different domains, more control of the information elements  Call for replications! ACII 2013 24/25
    25. 25. ACII 2013 Thank you Fabio Calefato fabio.calefato@uniba.it Filippo Lanubile filippo.lanubile@uniba.it Nicole Novielli nicole.novielli@uniba.it COLLAB - Collaborative Development Group http://cdg.di.uniba.it

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