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Two dominant theories-trust and technology acceptance-have been employed in numerous information systems research studies to help understand consumer behavior in e-commerce environments. In this context of voluntary Web site adoption and use, we provide a more precise understanding of the nomological network related to the cognitive variables (both beliefs and attitudes) that precede this use. Designers and engineers need to be concerned not just with building an objectively better Web site but also with building a Web site that conveys desirable characteristics. Although the theory of reasoned action has been acknowledged as the underlying theory for technology acceptance and some trust research, past studies integrating these two theories have omitted important variables from their models and have posited different causal relationships among model variables. This research argues for the reinclusion and/or clarification of belief and attitude constructs relevant to technology acceptance and trust research streams, explains why these constructs are critical for understanding causality in such models, proposes an integration model that is consistent with this argument, and finally tests this model in a context exploring initial reactions to an e-vendor and evaluates the relative importance of trust and technology acceptance variables in predicting user intentions.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2010