Decision Delegation and Trust: Insights from Financial Services: An Abstract

Sanjit Kumar Roy, James F. Devlin, Harjit Sekhon, Xuemei Bian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperOther chapter contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Delegation of consumption decisions to an agent, or surrogate, has attracted research attention in recent years. This emerging body of consumer psychology literature gives much attention to influential factors and reveals that engaging in decision delegation is a function of a number of factors (Aggarwal and Mazumdar 2008; Broniarczyk 2014), including consumer characteristics (e.g., confidence and expertise), product attributes (e.g., complexity and risk), and market conditions (e.g., number of substitutes and access to information). This stream of research, however, has largely ignored the effects of trust on consumer decision delegation despite its obvious importance. This study proposes and tests the role played by levels of trust and distinct aspects of trust in determining consumer decision delegation in the context of financial services. It has been noted that trust serve as a choice heuristic (Altman 2012) and consumers may well take the short-cut of delegating the decision when trust is high. Financial services is considered an ideal test-bed for the study, given the well-rehearsed challenges that consumers face when making choices (Devlin et al. 2015; McAlexander and Scammon 1988). This study provides an empirical investigation of decision delegation strategies and, in particular, the impact of levels of trust on the propensity to delegate decisions. The context for the investigation is financial services, an area where decision delegation plays a significant role. When making a decision consumers can delegate various tasks, such as deciding what attributes or features should be investigated, what alternatives should be considered or the complete decision in its entirety. This study tests the impact of cognitive trust, affective trust and system trust on the likelihood of engaging in the various levels decision delegation. Data were collected from customers of seven types of financial provider. Results indicate that trust levels on the part of consumers are an important determinant of levels of decision delegation employed, but that the relationship between trust and decision delegation is more nuanced and complex than expected.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnlightened Marketing in Challenging Times
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 AMS World Marketing Congress (WMC)
EditorsFelipe Pantoja, Shuang Wu, Nina Krey
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-42545-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-42544-9
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173


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