Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences (Print ISSN: 1524-7252; Online ISSN: 1532-5806)

Abstract

THE ROLE OF INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS IN CREATING ONLINE TRUST: CROSS CULTURAL INVESTIGATION

Author(s): Al shishany, A., Sarhan, N. M., Al-Turk, A., & Albakjaji, M.

Online trust, or E-trust, is designed to encourage customers’ purchasing decisions in online environment as a safe and convenient method for fulfilling their needs and/or wants. Creating and maintaining e-trust between customers and e-vendors is a significant factor that encourages customers to adopt online purchasing behaviour. Therefore, organizations created institutional mechanisms that may increase their customers’ trust towards online purchasing environment. However, E-commerce Institutional Mechanisms (such as secure e-banking systems, data encryption and escrow.com services), generate different customer influences. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to better understand these influences that lead to asymmetric customers’ behaviour within different cultures and societies.

To achieve this objective the study utilizes the ‘Uncertainty Avoidance’ dimension of Hofstede’s (2010) model of national cultures to understand these cultural differences. This research answers two major research questions: First, how do institutional mechanisms, particularly data encryption and e-banking systems, influence the purchasing decisions of customers from high and low uncertainty avoidance cultures? Second, how can e-vendors establish cross-cultural e-trust among e-commerce customers through utilizing institutional mechanisms? This paper reports on the results of a field study of semi-structured, with open questions, interviews conducted in real e-commerce business environmental settings. The interviews were conducted with e-business owners and e-commerce customers from both the UK and Jordanian cultures.

This research's originality derives from that it produces an empirical and a dedicated customer’s perspective, in relation to e-trust, from two very contrasting countries and cultures. The first is the UK, representing the low uncertainty avoidance culture. The second is Jordan, representing the high uncertainty avoidance culture. The findings of this research contributes to the practical implications of business organizations adopting the e-commerce business module. The findings confirm and explains similarities between the UK and Jordanian ecustomers in terms of online purchasing decisions and perceiving e-vendors’ institutional mechanisms. The customers tend to rely on the business brands in terms of creating online trust rather than the E-commerce Institutional Mechanisms, such as e-banking systems and data encryption.