THE DETERMINANTS OF TRUST: HOW DO THE FACTORS OF TRUSTWORTHINESS COMBINE?
 
Tan, H.H., National University of Singapore, Singapore
 
Mayer, Schoorman and Davis (1995) postulated a model of trust that has been widely accepted and cited. In their model, integrating past literature, they proposed three factors of trustworthiness affecting trust; ability, benevolence and integrity. In a later paper, Mayer and Davis (1998) speculated that the manner in which the three factors of trustworthiness are combined into trustworthiness is "idiosyncratic, both between individuals and between situations". However, discussions since the Mayer et al (1995) publication has speculated the possibility that the factors of benevolence and integrity are closely related and linked as opposed to the factor of ability (Tinsley, 1996), calling into question the differential importance individuals place on the various factors of trustworthiness in their decision to trust. The paper, following Tinsley (1996), proposes that rather than take an untested idiosyncratic approach to the issue, empirical data should be collected and the data tested on whether the factors of trustworthiness are combined in a) an additive manner, b) a multiplicative manner or c) an idiosyncratic manner. Multiple datasets were collected and the hypotheses tested. Implications of the results are discussed.