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[KCI] Cognitive and Affective Trust in IT Consulting Service

Park, J.-G., CHO, C., Kim, H., & Lee, J. (2013). Cognitive and Affective Trust in IT Consulting Service. Jounal of The Korea Society of IT Services, 12(3), 39-54. 

IT consulting is becoming a norm rather than exception in this age of smart work and information revolution. As IT consulting is one of the knowledge intensive services requiring high credence on both sides, maintaining a good trustful relationship is critical in sustenance of strategic partnership between business firms and IT service firms. Trust is known to be one of the salient constructs in service relationships. In this study, building from the social psychology literature, trust is conceptualized as two dimensions : cognitive and affective trust. Using two dimensions of trust as mediators, a research model is constructed for IT consulting specific context : relationship continuance intention as the dependent construct while expertise, service performance, reputation, relationship satisfaction and value similarity as antecedents of cognitive and affective trust. 145 data points were collected through a survey of IT service client project managers retrospectively asking their experience with IT consultants. Findings suggest that cognitive trust is associated with perceived level of expertise and service performance while affective trust with relationship satisfaction and value similarity, respectively. Interestingly, the paths from reputation are found to be statistically insignificant towards both dimensions of trust, indicating IT service context would be more practically outcome oriented than any other professional service context. Also, cognitive trust seems to maintain stronger influence on relationship continuance intention as anticipated. Implications and limitations are discussed at the end.

Cognitive Trust, Affective Trust, Relationship Continuance Intention, Expertise, Service Performance, Reputation, Relationship Satisfaction, Value Similarity, IT Consulting, IT Service