An interpretive investigation of trust and workflow in advertising communities

Chim, Jimmy Chi Lung (2016) An interpretive investigation of trust and workflow in advertising communities. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

[img] PDF (Thesis - as examined) - Repository staff only - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Available under Licence Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.
Download (5MB)


Adopting a socio–economic perspective and a multimethod field research approach this thesis investigates the correlation between trust and workflow in advertising communities of practice. Using a semiotic mode of analysis a comparative examination of offline and online communities will be conducted to inspect the practices of trust when multiple stakeholders follow the creative workflow process to fulfil creative briefs. The motivation to lead the research stems from a current lack of understanding of how trust is operationalized in online creative communities. Shortcomings from the literature 1) do not account for the significance of constructed workplace settings in the offline domain, 2) focus on providing generalisations through quantification, while fail to offer insights through qualitative methods and 3) overlook the weaknesses of trust in professional relationships.

To address these shortcomings the thesis provides an extensive literature review to explicate the complexity of trust. The review forms the foundation of the thesis from which it makes original theoretical, analytical and empirical contributions. It 1) introduces a conceptual framework that correlates trust with workflow in offline and online advertising communities; 2) presents a novel thematic–narrative analytical method to interpret and map trust and workflow at the granular level; 3) reports from three sequential field studies that explores trust and workflow in professional relationships. These contributions highlight the operationalization of trust and that trust is an active determinant of workflow. The findings have implications to the study of trust and virtual workspaces in the digital economy that will influence their design, development and utilization.

The first study examines trust and workflow in an offline advertising community. The findings indicate a positive correlation: trust is strongly aligned to workflow, inferred by strongly embedded situational and trust–warranting properties. The second and third studies examine trust and workflow in online advertising communities. The former indicates a negative correlation: trust is mediumly misaligned to workflow, inferred by weakly embedded situational properties. The findings of the latter also indicate a negative correlation: trust is strongly misaligned to workflow, inferred by weakly embedded situational and trust–warranting properties. In short, trust and workflow have a negative correlation online compared to the offline domain and is deficient in situational and trust–warranting properties. As a consequence the online domain does not perform to the same professional standard as the offline domain.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Kuk, George
Tan, Jonathan H.W.
Greenhalgh, Chris M.
Keywords: Trust, trustworthiness, distrust, workflow, virtual workspaces, advertising, communities of practice, professional, crowdsourcing, Interpretivism, creative, offline domain, online domain, web-based, digital economy, socio-economic perspective, semiotics
Subjects: H Social sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > Nottingham University Business School
Item ID: 33891
Depositing User: Chim, Jimmy
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2016 08:46
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2018 10:20

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View