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Governing exchange in strategic alliances : the dynamics of interfirm trust

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Governing exchange in strategic alliances : the dynamics of interfirm trust

Adobor, Henry (1999) Governing exchange in strategic alliances : the dynamics of interfirm trust. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis focuses on the dynamics of trust in strategic alliances. Trust as a form of qualitative governance is generally seen as a mother lode for successful partnering. Yet our understanding of this core concept lags behind our appreciation of its importance. Worse yet, a certain amount of skepticism exists on the idea of governance by trust-based regimes. This thesis aims at filling some of that lacunae. A proposed model of inter-firm trust generating structures and behaviors is presented. The model includes four important and related factors that are ordered into (1) individual partner-specific factors; (2) the structure of the specific relationship; (3) dyadic interactional sequence behaviors and a (4) specification of exogenous context variables. Using a sample of one hundred and ninety-one respondents (191) from a mail survey and ten (10) case studies, a number of trust-related hypotheses were tested. Among others, the results offer an interesting portrait of strategic behavior on the part of actors even in trust-based regimes. For example, whether partner's intended to use alliances again in the future or not affected their trust behavior in a current alliance. Also, trust was positively associated with relations perceived as long term, as opposed to those seen as short term ones. Another important finding in the study is that when viewed as a form of sense making, trust building in alliances may be a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. To some extent, the interpretation of behaviors and the way partners reacted to each other was dependent on the initial categorizations they formed about each other. As predicted, turnover in role persons negatively affected trust building, but contrary to expectations, direct market competition between collaborating partners did not negatively relate to trust, thus suggesting that direct competition between partnering firms need not necessarily be a death leap. By taping at trust from both a sociological, strategic and economic perspective, the present research avoided a premature elevation of one set of explanations to the top of the theoretical pyramid. The implications of the study for alliance research, including specific areas for future research and alliance management are offered.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Adobor, Henry
Pagination:xvi, 314 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Faculty of Commerce and Administration
Date:1999
Thesis Supervisor(s):Molz, Rick
ID Code:693
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:13
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:16
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