Why do we trust new technology? A study of initial trust formation with organizational information systems

Xin Li, Traci J. Hess, Joseph S. Valacich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

294 Scopus citations


Recent trust research in the information systems (IS) field has described trust as a primary predictor of technology usage and a fundamental construct for understanding user perceptions of technology. Initial trust formation is particularly relevant in an IS context, as users must overcome perceptions of risk and uncertainty before using a novel technology. With initial trust in a more complex, organizational information system, there are a number of external determinants, trusting bases, that may explain trust formation and provide organizations with the needed levers to form or change individuals' initial trust in technology. In this study, a research model of initial trust formation is developed and includes trusting bases, trusting beliefs, trusting attitude and subjective norm, and trusting intentions. Eight trusting base factors are assessed including personality, cognitive, calculative, and both technology and organizational factors of the institutional base. The model is empirically tested with 443 subjects in the context of initial trust in a national identity system (NID). The proposed model was supported and the results indicate that subjective norm and the cognitive-reputation, calculative, and organizational situational normality base factors significantly influence initial trusting beliefs and other downstream trust constructs. Factors from some of the more commonly investigated bases, personality and technology institutional, did not significantly affect trusting beliefs. The findings have strategic implications for agencies implementing e-government systems and organizational information systems in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-71
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Strategic Information Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Initial trust
  • National identity systems
  • Organizational information systems
  • Subjective norm
  • Technology adoption
  • Trusting attitude
  • Trusting bases
  • Trusting beliefs
  • Trusting intention
  • e-Government

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management


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