Research on the role trust plays in consumers’ repeat online purchases has earned a Clemson University business management professor a prestigious award.

Heshan Sun

Heshan Sun

Heshan Sun, associate professor in the department of management, has been recognized for a research paper published in MIS Quarterly, “Trust, satisfaction, and online repurchase intention: The moderating role of perceived effectiveness of e-commerce institutional mechanisms.” MIS Quarterly is considered the information systems industry’s top research journal.

Emerald Group Publishing awards certificates annually to highly cited papers in the areas of business management, finance, accounting, economics and marketing. Emerald Publishing bases its selection of papers published in a previous year on citations, their novelty and relevance in today’s world.

“Heshan is an emerging scholar and highly ranked in the fields of management information systems and business analytics,” said Sri Sridharan, department of management chair. “This award is a testament to Heshan’s dedication and passion for research. We are fortunate to have someone of his academic stature on faculty.”

Sun’s research expertise in management information systems includes human-computer interaction, business analytics, and trust in e-commerce. The award-winning paper examined the importance of trust in online buyers’ intentions to purchase again.

The study surveyed more than 360 returning online purchasers and found that trust was not an issue with buyers if third-party intermediaries worked well and provided secure environments for transactions.

“Traditional research suggests trust is earned through past experience,” Sun said. “However, our research showed that institutional mechanicals influence how trust is formed and how it influences repurchase intentions. If third-party mechanicals that provide things like escrow services, credit card guarantees and privacy protection are reliable and safeguard the success of a transaction, then it can facilitate formation of trust and at the same time reduce the importance of trust in influencing buyers’ intention to repurchase.”

Sun was joined in the research by Yulin Fang, department of information systems, City University of Hong Kong; Israr Qureshi, department of management and marketing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Patrick McCole, management school, Queen’s University Belfast; Elaine Ramsey, department of business and enterprise, Ulster Business School, University of Ulster; and Kai H. Lim, department of information systems, City University of Hong Kong.

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