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Title: Trust transference from brick to click retailers: a model of perceived structural assurance in the introductory stage of customers' interaction
Authors: Alsaif, Talal M
Advisors: Ghoneim, A
Dennis, C
Keywords: Online trust;Impersonal trust;Institution-based trust;Multi-channel retailer;E-commerce
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: Previous studies have revealed that the creation of synergy among retailers’ channels can enhance customers’ satisfaction and loyalty. Nevertheless, little is known about utilising such synergy in inducing customers’ purchasing behaviour in electronic commerce. In an attempt to address this issue, few empirical studies have been conducted into the role of trust transference from brick to click channels in order to understand customers’ purchasing intentions. These empirical studies have mainly focused on interpersonal trust as a proxy of the transference process. Therefore, the present study seeks to articulate the importance of impersonal trust, and shed light on its expected role in the transference process during the introductory stage of customers’ interaction. Impersonal trust, or perceived structural assurance as labelled in this study, refers to customers’ beliefs in the legal and technological structures of retailers’ websites. However, the introductory stage describes the state of customers when they have not yet been exposed to a retailer’s website. These notions are thoroughly reviewed and synthesised to achieve a proper conceptualisation and operationalisation for the perceived structural assurance. Then, on the basis of previous theories and studies, a conceptual model is constructed to determine several drivers of the perceived structural assurance, as well as its consequences. With regard to the research methodology, a quantitative triangulation choice is adopted in the present study. This choice involves the design of a survey questionnaire, which is employed after relying on several explorative instruments. However, upon the insights of a pilot study, a total of 304 responses are used to analyse the overall research data. Then, the results are generated through an advanced stage of statistical analysis which is performed by Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). The results indicate that the validated model is robust and can be used in generalising the findings of the current research. The novelty of this study involves several contributions to the body of knowledge and practice. This study develops a model that theoretically extends the existing knowledge on the trust transference phenomenon and posits an effective approach of triangulating methods in quantitative research. Lastly, this study contributes to the practice by presenting evidence to support the synergy among retailers’ brick and click channels.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University London.
Appears in Collections:Business and Management
Brunel Business School Theses

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