טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentSagy Yael
SubjectThe Effects of Symbols on Trust and Compliance
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Professor Anat Rafaeli


Abstract

The relationship between the presence of organizational symbols and compliance has been tested primarily in the context of authority symbols.
The current research extends this relationship to organizational symbols. In three studies the relationship between symbols and compliance is examined, as are the moderating role of risk and the mediating role of trust.

The results of Study 1 - a field experiment - identified greater compliance in the presence of a known or an unknown logo than in the complete absence of a logo.

The results of Study 2, also a field experiment, documented the moderating role of embedded risk on this relationship showing that the presence of a logo enhances compliance only in conditions of high rather than low risk. Study 2 therefore shows risk as a moderator of the connection between symbols and compliance. Study 3 was a lab experiment that provided understanding of the role of trust as the mechanism that underlies the connection between symbols and compliance. The hypothesis of Study 3 was that only in high risk reported trust would mediate the connection between symbols and reported compliance.
Participants were asked to rate both their willingness to comply,  and their feelings of trust towards people they saw in pictures. The findings replicated the field study findings about the relationship between symbols and compliance and also supported the hypothesis about the mediating role of trust and the moderating role of risk.
The findings hold important implications for both theory and management of organizational symbols and logos.