Investigating the Effect of Social Media on Trust Building in Customer-supplier Relationships

Fabio Calefato, Filippo Lanubile, Nicole Novielli


Trust is a concept that has been widely studied in e-commerce since it represents a key issue in building successful customer-supplier relationships. In this sense, social software represents a powerful channel for establishing a direct communication with customers. As a consequence, companies are now investing in social media for building their social digital brand and strengthening relationships with their customers. In this paper we investigate the role of social media in the process of trust building, with particular attention to the case of small companies. Our findings show that social media contribute to build affective trust more than traditional websites, by fostering the affective commitment of customers.


  1. Al-Ani, B. and Redmiles, D., 2009. In Strangers We Trust? Findings of an Empirical Study of Distributed Teams. In Proc. of 4th IEEE Int'l Conf. on Global Soft. Eng. (ICGSE 7809), IEEE Computer Society, 121-130.
  2. Blanchard, O., 2011. Social Media ROI. Pearson Ed.
  3. Büttner, O. B., and Göritz,, 2008. A. S. Perceived trustworthiness of online shops. Journal of Consumer Behaviour 7, 35-50.
  4. Büttner, O. B., Schulz, S. and Silberer, G., 2006. Perceived Risk and Deliberation in Retailer Choice: Consumer Behavior towards Online Pharmacies. Advances in Consumer Research, 33, 197-202.
  5. Calefato, F., Lanubile, F. and Novielli, N., 2013. A Preliminary Investigation of the Effect of Social Media on Affective Trust in Customer-Supplier Relationships. In Proc. of ACII 2013, 25-30.
  6. Castelfranchi, C. and Falcone, R., 2000. Trust is more than subjective probability: mental components and sources of trust. In Proc. of the 33rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Vol. 6. IEEE Computer Society.
  7. Doney, P. M., and Cannon J. P., 1995. An Examination of the Nature of Trust in Buyer-Seller Relationships. Journal of Marketing 6, 35-51.
  8. Fogg, B. J., 2002. Persuasive Technology: Using Computers To Change What We Think and Do, Morgan Kaufman.
  9. Good, D. 2000. Individuals, Interpersonal Relations, and Trust. In Trust: Making and breaking cooperative relations, by D. (ed.) Gambetta, 31-48. Blackwell, Oxford, UK.
  10. Hacker, S. K. Israel, J. T., and Couturier, L., 2013. Building Trust in Key Customer-Supplier Relationships. Retrieved Jan 2013 from <http://www.>
  11. Hung, Y. C., Dennis, A.R., and Robert, L., 2004. Trust in Virtual Teams: Towards an Integrative Model of Trust Formation. In Proc. of the 37th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences HICSS 7837. IEEE Computer Society, Washington DC.
  12. Mayer, R. C., Davis, J. H., and Schoorman, F. D., 1995. An integrative model of organizational trust. Academy of Management Review 20, 709-734.
  13. McAllister, D. J., 1995. Affect- and cognition¬-based trust as foundations for interpersonal cooperation in organizations. Academy of Management Journal 38, 1, 24-59.
  14. McKnight D. H., Cummings, L. L., Chervany, N.L., 1998. Initial trust formation in new organizational relationships. Academy of Management Review, 23 (3), 473-490.
  15. Olson, J. S., Zheng, J., Bos, N., Olson, G. M., and Veinott, E., 2002. Trust without Touch: Jumpstarting longdistance trust with initial social activities. In Proc. of CHI2002, ACM, New York, 141-146.
  16. Petty, R. E., and Cacioppo, J. T., 1986. Communication and Persuasion: Central and Peripheral Routes to Attitude Change. Springer-Verlag, New York.
  17. Riegelsberger, J., Sasse, M. A., McCarthy, J. D., 2003. Shiny Happy People Building Trust? Photos on eCommerce Websites and Consumer Trust. In Proc. of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 7803). ACM, New York, 121- 128.
  18. Rusman, E., 2011. The Mind's Eye on Personal Profiles - How to inform trustworthiness assessments in virtual project teams. Doctoral Thesis, Open Universiteit Heerlen, The Netherlands.
  19. Rusman, E., van Bruggen, J., Sloep P., and Koper R., 2010. Fostering trust in virtual project teams: Towards a design framework grounded in a TrustWorthiness Antecedents (TWAN) schema. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 68, 834-850.
  20. de Ruyter, K., Moorman, L. and Lemmink, J., 2001. Antecedents of Commitment and Trust in CustomerSupplier Relationship in High Technology Markets. Industrial Marketing Management, 30, 271-286, Elsevier.
  21. Schoorman, F. D., Mayer, R. C., and Davis, J. H., 2007. An integrative model of organizational trust: past, present, and future. Academy of Management Review 2(32), 344-354.
  22. Schumann, J., Shih, P., Redmiles, D., and Horton, G., 2012. Supporting Initial Trust in Distributed Idea Generation and Evaluation. In Proc. of International ACM SIGGROUP Conference on Supporting Group Work (GROUP 2012), ACM, New York, 199-208.
  23. Steinbrueck, U., Schaumburg, H., Duda, S., and Krueger, T., 2002. A Picture Says More Than A Thousand Words - Photographs As Trust Builders In ECommerce Websites. In CHI 7802 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA 7802), ACM, New York 748-749.
  24. Tvesovat, M. and Kouznetsov, A., 2011. Social Network Analysis for Startups. O'Reilly.
  25. Wilson, J. M., Strausb, S.G., and McEvily, B., 2006. All in due time: The development of trust in computermediated and face-to-face teams. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 99(1), 16- 33.

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Calefato F., Lanubile F. and Novielli N. (2014). Investigating the Effect of Social Media on Trust Building in Customer-supplier Relationships . In Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - Volume 2: ICEIS, ISBN 978-989-758-028-4, pages 635-642. DOI: 10.5220/0004905606350642

in Bibtex Style

author={Fabio Calefato and Filippo Lanubile and Nicole Novielli},
title={Investigating the Effect of Social Media on Trust Building in Customer-supplier Relationships},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - Volume 2: ICEIS,},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - Volume 2: ICEIS,
TI - Investigating the Effect of Social Media on Trust Building in Customer-supplier Relationships
SN - 978-989-758-028-4
AU - Calefato F.
AU - Lanubile F.
AU - Novielli N.
PY - 2014
SP - 635
EP - 642
DO - 10.5220/0004905606350642