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Building customers’ trust in the ridesharing platform with institutional mechanisms: An empirical study in China

Zhen Shao (School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)
Hao Yin (School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 4 April 2019

Issue publication date: 19 September 2019

1922

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing upon institution-based trust theory, the purpose of this paper is twofold: firstly, to examine the joint influences of legally binding and market-driven institutional mechanisms in promoting customers’ trust and continuance intention in the ridesharing platform; and secondly, to examine if there exists a trust transfer mechanism between institution-based trust and interpersonal trust.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was conducted in China and data were collected from 307 customers in DiDi, which is one of the largest ridesharing platforms in China. Structural equation modeling statistical method was used to test the theoretical model and research hypotheses.

Findings

The empirical results suggest that market-driven institutional mechanisms, regarding feedback and surge pricing, have strong influences on customers’ trust in the ridesharing platform. In addition, legally binding institutional mechanisms, regarding payment security and driver certification, are also beneficial to promote customers’ trust. Furthermore, there is a trust transfer between customers’ trust in the platform and trust in the driver.

Practical implications

This study provides guidelines to the administrators of the ridesharing platform to establish effective institutional mechanisms. In particular, the platform can appropriately adopt and implement the legally binding mechanisms combined with market-driven mechanisms on the platform, in order to enhance customers’ trust and promote their subsequent transaction behaviors.

Originality/value

This study enriches and extends the extant literature of institution-based trust from e-commerce to the sharing economy by identifying four significant institutional mechanisms. Furthermore, this study presents a new perspective of customer trust (one-to-many) in the context of ridesharing and uncovers the transfer mechanism between institution-based trust and interpersonal trust.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71771064), the Ministry of Education of Humanities and Social Science Project (17YJC630118) and the Postdoctoral Scientific Research Development Fund (LBH-Q17055).

Citation

Shao, Z. and Yin, H. (2019), "Building customers’ trust in the ridesharing platform with institutional mechanisms: An empirical study in China", Internet Research, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 1040-1063. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-02-2018-0086

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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