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Title page for ETD etd-04022008-172251

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Goates, Nathan
Author's Email Address nwgoates@ship.edu
URN etd-04022008-172251
Title Reputation as a Basis for Trust
Degree PhD
Department Management
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Raymond A. Friedman Committee Chair
Bruce Barry Committee Member
Mikhael Shor Committee Member
Timothy J. Vogus Committee Member
  • emotion
  • cooperation
  • affect
  • trust
  • reputation
  • mediation
Date of Defense 2008-03-14
Availability unrestricted
This project is concerned with the process by which individuals consume and process reputational information, and how reputations inform decisions to engage in trusting behavior, especially in online market contexts. In this dissertation I develop a social cognitive model, grounded in schema theory (Fiske & Taylor, 1991; Markus & Zajonc, 1985), to explain how individuals process social information into reputation types, and how reputations inform trusting behavior. After a review of three bodies of reputation literature—the evolutionary perspective, the firm-level perspective, and theories of interpersonal reputation—I propose two distinct reputation sub-constructs: (1) hearsay reputation, reputational information originating from sources other than personal experience, and (2) experiential reputation, reputational information derived from personal interaction with the reputed party. I hypothesize that both hearsay and experiential reputation, independently, predict trusting behavior. I further hypothesize that when both types are available, individuals will privilege experiential reputation over hearsay reputation. I also hypothesize that the relationship between both types of reputation and trusting behavior is partially mediated by the trusting party’s affective response to the trusted party’s reputation. The effect of a firm’s tenure in the marketplace is also discussed. A total of ten hypotheses are tested in a series of three studies, using first a trust game (Berg, Dickhaut, & McCabe, 1995), next a simulated internet retail environment, and finally a simulated online auction environment. Taken together, results provide strong support for the hypothesized models. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
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