Jens Alberts

Publication of the first study

What factors influence trust and mistrust in information systems in the workplace? We address this question in our article published today and provide an outlook on potential consequences:  https://peerj.com/articles/5483/


Digitalization of work processes is advancing, and this is increasingly supported by complex information systems (IS). However, whether such systems are used by employees largely depends on users’ trust in these IS. Because there are few systematic studies on this topic, this research provides an initial exploration and validation of preconditions for trust in work-related IS. In Study 1, N = 30 professionals were asked to describe occupational incidents in which they had highly trusted or distrusted an IS. Content analysis of 111 critical incidents described in the in-depth interviews led to 12 predictors of trust and distrust in IS, which partly correspond to the structure of the established IS success model (Delone & McLean, 2003) but also exceed this structure. The resulting integrative model of trust in IS at work was validated in Study 2 using an online questionnaire with N = 179 professionals. Based on regression analyses, reliability (system quality) and credibility (information quality) of IS were identified as the most important predictors for both trust and distrust in IS at work. Contrasting analyses revealed diverging qualities of trust and distrust in IS : whereas well-being and performance were rated higher in trust events, experienced strain was rated higher in distrust events. Together, this study offers a first comprehensive model of trust in IS at work based on systematic empirical research. In addition to implications for theory advancement, we suggest practical implications for how to support trust and to avoid distrust in IS at work.


Thielsch M. T., Meeßen S. M., Hertel G. (2018) Trust and distrust in information systems at the workplace. PeerJ 6:e5483  pdf