The Mind’s Eye on Personal Profiles: A Cognitive Perspective on Profile Elements that Inform Initial Trustworthiness Assessments in Virtual Project Teams

Ellen Rusman, Jan Van Bruggen, Peter Sloep, Martin Valcke, Rob Koper

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Collaboration in virtual project teams heavily relies on interpersonal trust, for which perceived trustworthiness is an important determinant. This study provides insight in the information that trustors value to assess a trustee’s professional trustworthiness in the initial phase of a virtual project team. We expect trustors in virtual teams to value those particular information elements that provide them with relevant cues of trust warranting properties of a trustee. We identified a list of commonly highly valued information elements to inform trustworthiness assessments (n=226). We then analysed explanations for preferences with the help of a theory-grounded coding scheme. Results show that respondents value those particular information elements that provide them with multiple cues to assess the trustworthiness of a trustee. This enables them to become aware of and assess the trustworthiness of another. Information elements that provide unique cues could not be identified. Insight in these information preferences can inform the design of artefacts, such as personal profile templates, to support acquaintanceships in the initial phase of a virtual project team.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)159-179
    JournalComputer Supported Cooperative Work-The Journal of Collaborative Computing
    Volume22
    Issue number2-3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2012

    Keywords

    • trust
    • trustworthiness
    • social awareness
    • CSCW
    • virtual team
    • online identity
    • presence
    • groupware

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