اعمال نفوذ دسته بندی های اجتماعی برای ایجاد اعتماد در شرکت های خارجی تجارت الکترونیک: مطالعه اکتشافی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3445||2013||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Information Management, Volume 33, Issue 3, June 2013, Pages 419–428
Internet development has fueled e-commerce firms’ globalization efforts, but many have met with only limited success. This often stems from the foreign firms’ limited understanding of a focal country's local culture and idiosyncrasies. Foreign firms are usually viewed as out-group entities, which lowers consumers’ trust in them. The extent of such a phenomenon varies. In locations where people are more skeptical of out-groups, a critical question is whether it is possible to transform such foreign out-group firms into in-groups, specifically with the support of popular social networking media. Based on Social Identity Theory and Trust Transference Process, five strategies leveraging social grouping and social ties to build trust for foreign electronic commerce firms were proposed. A survey was conducted to examine their effectiveness. The results suggest that social-grouping strategies are useful for in-grouping foreign out-group entities to build trust, and the effectiveness of strategies is determined by the social similarity and psychological distance between the consumer and the endorser. This has important implications for scholars and practitioners, both local and abroad, to leverage social grouping to boost Internet sales.
Due to the globalization of the Internet and the rapid development of electronic commerce (e-commerce), a number of companies are seeking to explore new markets even as they are subject to increasingly intense market competition. For example, many multinational e-commerce firms are attracted to China because of its fast-growing economy and huge market potential (eBay.com, Yahoo.com, Amazon.com, etc.). Although some have succeeded, many have failed and suffered significant financial losses, such as eBay China. Studying the failure of eBay China (www.ebay.com.cn), researchers found that the eBay (China) website simply replicated the international eBay website. Although it featured the respective local language and contents (Ou and Davison, 2009 and Ye et al., 2008), there was no significant adaptation to the context of China. Trust issues are a significant challenge for foreign companies as customers most likely will not view them as an indigenous platform. In a 2010 Business Leader Forum, the speaker, Vice-President of a prominent Chinese online travel agency, attributed such challenges to a lack of “grassroots spirit” amongst these less successful foreign ventures. Foreign companies are less likely to be embraced by a community if they do not understand local norms and culture. As a result, it is important for foreign e-commerce firms to indicate their sincerity to do business locally by being integrated into the local culture. When foreign firms set up websites to explore new markets in different countries, initial trust building is fundamental to their success (Choi and Geistfeld, 2004 and Jarvenpaa et al., 1999). Replicating the original website by simply using the local language is not enough to build trust in foreign online stores (McKnight et al., 1998 and Zucker et al., 1996). Without integrating local in-group features, local consumers would view such foreign firms as out-group entities that lack social similarity (Zourrig, Chebat, Toffoli, & Medina-Borja, 2010). The social categorization of in-group and out-group based on social similarity and psychological distance is rooted in Social Identity Theory (SIT) (Tajfel & Turner, 1979). People usually behave more favorably to in-groups (e.g., local peers, friends) than out-groups (e.g., foreigners, foreign organizations), especially in collectivistic cultures (Doney et al., 1998, Lee and Ward, 1998 and Triandis, 1972). While similarity refers to matching attitudes, values, interests, and personality between people, social similarity emphasizes similarity based on social structure and organized social activities, such as relatives, friends, classmates (Turner & Onorato, 1999). A higher level of social similarity brings closer psychological distance. In this study, psychological distance refers to the social psychological distance-how distinct is the social target from the perceiver's self (Bar-Anan, Liberman, & Trope, 2006). A critical question that arises is whether the out-group foreign online stores can be converted into in-groups via social-grouping strategies to build trust. Social network media could provide such an opportunity for foreign companies to build social ties using socially similar cues in their grassroots campaigns. For example, more and more organizations set up their profiles in social network sites, such as Facebook.com or Renren.com (the most popular social network site in China), to foster an attachment with potential customers. There could be enormous potential for foreign companies to exploit the power of social networks to build trust and boost their sales and performance (Winer, 2009). Thus, this exploratory study will investigate the question: Can businesses leverage social similarity or ties to help build initial trust in new foreign online stores? By including local elements to build trust, a foreign online store could become part of customers’ social in-groups. Based on Social Identity Theory and Trust Transference Theory, this study proposes trust-building strategies for foreign online stores that leverage social grouping and social ties. The effectiveness of these strategies to build trust will be compared and ranked in a survey. This exploratory study has implications for how businesses could leverage social networks and social ties to build customers’ initial trust toward a foreign online shopping website. Social-grouping strategies could be one of the important factors for new online firms to consider to boost sales performance.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
5.1. Discussion This study investigated the effectiveness of various in-grouping strategies that foreign e-commerce firms can employ to build initial trust and compared their effectiveness. It demonstrates that it is possible to extend social identity with trust transference. The in-group and out-group gap can be bridged through various theoretical mechanisms, such as institutional-identity in-grouping, common-identity in-grouping, and common-bond in-grouping, with different levels of effectiveness. Generally speaking, the effectiveness of each in-grouping strategy is determined by the psychological distance and social similarity felt by the individual customers. Common-bond strategies are more effective to bridge the in-group and out-group gap to build trust than common-identity strategies. The common-bond strategy (showing students from the same university as the subjects) can invoke stronger member attachment and social ties than common-identity strategies that indicate a common-group identity (all members of Renren), such as showing the iBook profile on the SNS-Renren. Subjects are more likely to transfer their trust of their fellow university students to trusting iBook. In practice, companies could make good use of common-bond information to build potential consumers’ trust toward their online store or service. Some companies provide the function “sharing with friends” to encourage their consumers to share their marketing/promotion information. Such shared common-bond information is more likely to be accepted by potential consumers, which is more effective for the companies to achieve their marketing/promotion goals. In-grouping and trust transference occurs not only in the direct in-group strategies but also in indirect strategies. While a foreign customer might be viewed as an out-group entity, the indirect strategy of showing the foreign customer's common bond with the subjects’ university (S2) could lead to in-grouping and building trust in iBook. Its effectiveness is not significantly different from the direct common-bond strategy. Because of the different extent of psychological distance and perceived similarity, showing the foreign customer's common bond with the subjects’ university (S2) was ranked significantly higher than S4, showing the common-identity feature of the foreign customer (working in China now), which is consistent with Social Identity Theory. The institutional-identity strategy of showing local cultural activities was also effective in in-grouping the foreign online store to build trust. Its effectiveness is not significantly different from the common-bond strategy. This result is contrary to our prediction. We have underestimated the effectiveness of institutional-identity strategy. The local cultural elements invoke societal-level institutional identity. This integration with local culture makes customers feel that the online shopping environment provided by iBook is similar to other local online shopping sites and increases their trust. The effectiveness of institutional in-grouping strategy indicates the power of Institutional Collectivism, which deserves further investigation in future research on trust building. 5.2. Limitations and future research In order to avoid over-generalizing the results, we should realize the limitations of the research. Firstly, as an exploratory study in investigating in-grouping strategies to build trust, it tests subjects’ perception of the effectiveness of these strategies by ranking them rather than applying these strategies in examining consumers’ buying intention and actual behavior. However, the results still provide valuable information on trust building via social ties and in-grouping. Based on the results of this study, future research could employ these strategies in experiments to test their effectiveness in influencing consumers’ buying intentions and actual behaviors. Secondly, in this study, each iBook version in the survey employs only one in-grouping trust-building strategy. As the combination of different strategies might produce a synergy effect, future research would further explore the use of two or more in-grouping strategies simultaneously and examine their effectiveness in influencing consumers’ behavior. Thirdly, this study was conducted in a collectivistic culture context. The impact of cultural characteristics on strategies to promote Internet shopping is demonstrated in previous studies (Sia et al., 2009). Cultural sensitivity should be important in determining the effectiveness of these in-grouping trust-building strategies. People in collectivistic cultures view in-groups more favorably than out-groups; people in individualistic cultures treat in-groups and out-groups more equitably (Doney et al., 1998, Lee and Ward, 1998, Triandis, 1972 and Triandis and Suh, 2002). As a result, it would be interesting to examine the effectiveness of in-grouping strategies in a different cultural context and compare it with the collectivistic culture context. 5.3. Implications This study makes contributions to both research and practice. Its main contribution to research is that social identity can be extended with trust transference to suggest ways that attitudes toward out-groups can be molded to become more like in-groups. The in-group/out-group gap can be bridged through various in-grouping strategies (common-bond strategy, common-identity strategy, and institutional-identity strategy) with different levels of effectiveness. Common-bond strategy is more effective than common-identity strategy, because stronger social ties provide closer psychological distance and more social similarity with customers. Institutional-identity strategy is as effective as common-bond strategy, which suggests the power of institutional collectivism in collectivistic cultures. In addition, indirect use of in-grouping strategy is also effective to bridge the in-group/out-group gap. The findings of this study could also provide practical guidelines for e-commerce retailers who intend to explore foreign markets. While foreign online stores are usually viewed as out-group entities that lack grassroots spirit, in-grouping strategies could help them decrease the psychological distance to local consumers and integrate with the local culture. Specifically, they can include local cultural elements on their websites to create institutional identity with local customers. Making good use of local social network sites, they can set up their public profiles and build their social network connections. Trust can be transferred from their existing customers to the customers’ social network (common bond). Even foreign customers’ recommendations could be useful to build trust by employing indirect common-bond strategies, such as showing foreign customer ties with local customers.