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Contribution to Collected Edition

A Framework for Studying the Problem of Trust in Online Settings


Möllering,  Guido
Soziologie des Marktes, MPI for the Study of Societies, Max Planck Society;

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Guenther, T., & Möllering, G. (2010). A Framework for Studying the Problem of Trust in Online Settings. In D. Latusek, & A. Gerbasi (Eds.), Trust and Technology in a Ubiquitous Modern Environment: Theoretical and Methodological Perspectives (pp. 16-33). Hershey: Information Science Reference.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0012-4244-1
The chapter contributes to the conceptual foundations of research on trust in online settings by introducing a framework of the preconditions and constitutive elements of trust. Moving beyond simplistic, narrow, and vague applications of the notion of trust, researchers are enabled by this framework to recognize when trust is relevant and to address a broader range of elements and processes involved in the social constitution of trust. By way of illustration and differentiation, the authors discuss trust issues in online marketplaces and online communities in greater detail. An important message from the chapter is that the problem of trust does not only occur in specific activities on a particular website but, more importantly, through the interconnectedness of the websites used and the development of complex online biographies. Accordingly, the authors advocate research methods that are not only are well-grounded conceptually but also geared praxeologically toward the actual experience and enactment of trust.