Public e-information service is the inevitable outcome driven by the deep integration of information technology and public information service across all walks of life. As the penetration of public e-information service increases,the focus of public concern has transferred from information disclosure to service trust.Trust has been an essential antecedent for public to adopt and use public e-information service,which has both theoretical and practical significance for the development of this service. This study aims to identify the factors that affect social trust in public e-information service from the perspective of public interest,and clarify the ways how they affect the trust. It would provide reference for public sectors,researchers,and practitioners to better understand and consolidate the trust,and fully realize the economic and social benefits of public e-information service.Based on Stakeholder Theory and theories on the bases of trust,this study extracted the antecedents of social trust in public e-information service by literature review,and developed the research model. A total of 266 valid data were collected using questionnaire survey.The Structural Equation Model was employed to verify the research model. Results suggest that under the multiple effects of different antecedents,Trust in the Service Providers,Trust in the Partners and Trust in the Distributors all have direct impacts on the social trust in public e-information service. Among them,the effect of Trust in the Service Providers is the largest. With regard to the bases of trust,the focus of social trust in different stakeholders transfers from Peer Influence to Service Quality and Institutional Guarantee,with Institutional Guarantee showing a more significant effect than Peer Influence and Service Quality. Moreover,Institutional Guarantee,constructed as a second-order model,is confirmed and reflected by Structural Assurance,Fair Supervision and Situational Normality. Specifically,the effect of Structural Assurance is much stronger than those of Fair Supervision and Situational Normality. These findings provide evidence for improving the social trust in public e-information service in practice. According to the casual link in the research model,the development of social trust in public e-information service should put emphasis on the service providers,and actively guiding and managing the distributors. Meanwhile,different stakeholders should be aware of the significance and urgency to strengthen the Institutional Guarantee,especially to enhance the legal and technical protection of public e-information service.〖JP.
This study contributes in three ways:1)Based on Stakeholder Theory,this study takes the whole service chain of public e-information service into account,and categorizes stakeholders as Service Providers,Partners and Distributors in terms of the roles that government agencies,non-profit organizations,business and citizens play in the provision of public e-information service. It investigates the impact of trust in these stakeholders on the social trust of the overall public e-information service. 2)From the dimensions of cognition,affection and institution,this study extracts Peer Influence,Service Quality and Institutional Guarantee as the bases of trust in different stakeholders of public e-information service. 3)Combing existing literature and the characteristics of public e-information service in structure,procedure and appearance,this study constructs Institutional Guarantee as a formative second-order variable,and investigates it from the perspectives of Structural Assurance,Fair Supervision and Situational Normality.
The perception of the trust in public e-information service from the society may be variable as a result of external influence and personal experience,thus the antecedents of social trust in public e-information service and their interrelationship need to be further adjusted and perfected in accordance with practice. In the future study,Delphi technique and filed study methods would be employed to develop and verify the existing antecedents. 2 figs. 6 tabs. 76 refs.