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The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Consumption and Consumer Studies by J. Michael Ryan, Daniel Thomas Cook

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Marketplace Trust

KENT GRAYSON

Northwestern University, USA

DEVON JOHNSON

Montclair State University, USA

DOI: 10.1002/9781118989463.wbeccs254

Marketplace trust involves at least two exchange partners: one who is doing the trusting (the truster) and another who is being trusted (the trustee). For marketplace trust to exist, the truster must believe that the trustee has implicitly or explicitly agreed to do something – usually, to perform some activity on behalf of the truster, or to provide a product and/or service to the truster. Trust is defined as the truster's belief that the trustee will meet the expectations of the exchange agreement. For example, if a customer expects that a repair professional will arrive at a particular time on a particular day and will perform a specific repair in the customer's home, it can be said that the customer trusts the repair professional.

Trust focuses only on trustee actions that the truster believes are volitional and relevant to the exchange agreement. An exchange partner is therefore unlikely to “trust” that a repair professional's own refrigerator will work or that the professional's heart will beat. Neither of these activities is likely to be viewed as volitional on the part of the trustee, or relevant to the exchange agreement. In the marketplace, trust plays a role not only in exchange relationships between customers and company representatives, but also in relationships between representatives (for example, when they are cooperating ...

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