Effect of culture interdependency on interpersonal trust
Interpersonal trust is a crucial issue in collaborative information technology and service design. The study aims at exploring the effect of cultural interdependency on interpersonal trust in computer-mediated team collaborations. A social dilemma experiment with 20 Chinese students and 20 German students were conducted to compare interdependent with independent cultures. Results found that when facing team vs. personal benefit contradictions, interdependent people (i.e. Chinese) have more trust with their teammate than independent people (i.e. Germans). Also the reduction of trust in non-face-to-face virtual communication is less suffered by interdependent people than by independent people. The results support that interdependent culture build trust based on intimate relationships, while independent culture establish trust on the basis of previously agreed rules and regulations. The findings provide implications for cross-cultural management, and information system and service design.