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First impressions matter: evaluating the importance of online reputation in social networking sites for initial trust in virtual work partners

Hugo Martinelli Watanuki (Production Engineering Department, Universidade de São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Renato de Oliveira Moraes (Production Engineering Department, Universidade de São Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Aslib Journal of Information Management

ISSN: 2050-3806

Article publication date: 17 February 2023

Issue publication date: 10 April 2024

226

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the practices that owners of public profiles in social networking sites can leverage to actively build online reputation and to evaluate the impact of the adoption of such practices on the initial formation of trust toward these individuals when they are presented as new virtual work partners.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical model was developed and an experiment with 233 participants was utilized to assess the model using partial least squares structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results suggest that individuals can build their online reputations in public profiles of social networking sites via a series of practices of self-disclosure of information and that the adoption of these practices has significant effects on the initial formation of trust toward the profile owner in virtual work contexts. Categorization mechanisms such as stereotyping, unit grouping and reputation categorization have been found to contribute to the initial formation of trust, both from an affect and cognition-based perspectives.

Originality/value

Little is known about the information disclosure practices in public profiles of social networking sites that new work partners can adopt to facilitate the formation of trust between them before they start working together. This study has contributed to the existing body of literature by clarifying these practices and the relative importance of online reputation to the initial formation of trust during the outset of a new virtual work relationship.

Keywords

Citation

Martinelli Watanuki, H. and de Oliveira Moraes, R. (2024), "First impressions matter: evaluating the importance of online reputation in social networking sites for initial trust in virtual work partners", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 76 No. 3, pp. 435-460. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-08-2022-0349

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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