Effects of Positions in Knowledge Networks on Trust
This paper empirically explores relations between network positions in knowledge networks and trust. In social network theory the closure argument and the gossip argument describe this relation. These two arguments do not distinguish between different dimensions of trust. In this paper we estimate effects of closure positions on two dimensions of trust (trust in abilities and trust in intentions). The closure argument emphasizes that dense network structures enforce individuals to be trustworthy. The gossip argument emphasizes that dense networks amplifies gossip. Since it was found that different network positions are optimal for different tasks, we propose that the content of a network is an intrinsic characteristic of a network that influences whether gossip is neutral or judgmental. To discern between different contents we consider two task-specific knowledge networks. Empirical data were collected on a network of 55 individuals in the setting of account management. These data strongly support the gossip argument for both dimensions of trust. However, the data only gave weak and ambiguous support for the closure argument.
|Keywords||account management, knowledge network structures, trust|
Dekker, D.J.. (2001). Effects of Positions in Knowledge Networks on Trust (No. TI 01-062/1). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/6864