IT-Enabled Interactions and Interfirm Trust: The Moderating Role of Relationship Duration
School of Business and Management, Jilin University
2699 Qianjin Street, Changchun, Jilin 130012, China
The importance of information-technology (IT)-enabled interactions in promoting interfirm trust has been documented in literature. However, the currently available findings are limited because the role of IT-enabled informal interactions has been overlooked and the categorization of trust is unclear. To obtain detailed knowledge about the relation between IT-enabled interactions and trust, this study categorizes not only the IT-enabled interactions into formal and informal types but also trust into goodwill and competence trust. Moreover, this study explores the moderating role of relationship duration on the aforementioned relationships. Through a survey of 240 firms in China, this study made the following observations: (1) IT-enabled formal and informal interactions can promote both competence and goodwill trust; (2) compared with IT-enabled informal interactions, IT-enabled formal interactions promote competence trust, and a comparable extent of goodwill trust; (3) relationship duration strengthens the positive link between IT-enabled formal interactions and competence trust; however, it has no moderating impact on the link between IT-enabled formal interactions and goodwill trust; (4) relationship duration weakens the impact of IT-enabled informal interactions on goodwill trust; however, it has no significant moderating role on the relation between IT-enabled informal interactions and competence trust. Overall, this study enriches the knowledge regarding the relationship between IT-enabled interactions and interfirm trust.
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