What builds system troubleshooter trust the best: Experiential or non-experiential factors?

D. Harrison McKnight, Norman L. Chervany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


System troubleshooters keep important organizational systems operating. This study examines factors influencing system troubleshooter trust in their supervisors, contrasting experiential and non-experiential factors. Traditional research suggests that trust forms through interactional experience. Recent research indicates that initial interpersonal trust develops through non-experiential factors that are dispositional (individual differences-related) or institutional (structural/situational). We found that both institutional and dispositional factors affected troubleshooter trust in the supervisor even after parties gained experience with each other. Quality of experience with the supervisor affected interpersonal trust, while quantity of experience did not. Surprisingly, institutional trust predicted trusting beliefs as strongly as did quality of experience. The study shows that both experiential and non-experiential factors are important to troubleshooter trust when parties know each other well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-49
Number of pages18
JournalInformation Resources Management Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005


  • IS problems
  • IS staffing
  • IS training and development: systems manager activities
  • Is operations activities
  • Trust


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