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Trust-distrust balance: trust ambivalence in Sino-Western B2B relationships

Trust-distrust balance: trust ambivalence in Sino-Western B2B relationships <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Purpose</jats:title> <jats:p>The purpose of this paper is to explore how Chinese and Finnish managers in cross-cultural supply-chain relationships evaluate their business partners’ trustworthiness and distrustworthiness.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Design/methodology/approach</jats:title> <jats:p>Representatives of two Finnish companies and their Chinese and Finnish suppliers were interviewed to collect qualitative data from 23 managers.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Findings</jats:title> <jats:p>The Chinese managers emphasized relationship-specific, personalized trustworthiness. They highlighted personalized communication and benevolence, which manifested in respect and reciprocity, rooted in the Chinese notion of “guanxi” as personal ties. In contrast, the Finnish managers’ view of trustworthiness was more associated with depersonalized organizational attributes. They emphasized the dimension of integrity, especially promise-keeping. In addition, tentative signs of trust ambivalence, as a balance between trust- and distrust-related factors, were identified for both the Chinese and the Finns.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Research limitations/implications</jats:title> <jats:p>Due to the exploratory nature of this study the validity of the findings is limited to these data and context. Future studies could explore other national contexts as well as the effects of industry, market position, and position in the supply chain.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Practical implications</jats:title> <jats:p>The findings of this study bring a valuable understanding of the potential pitfalls and unique challenges in cross-border inter-firm transactions. These can enhance inter-firm trust building in a cross-cultural context.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Originality/value</jats:title> <jats:p>This study enriches the view of trust as a holistic process of simultaneous evaluation of both trustworthiness and distrustworthiness. In this process, trust ambivalence could serve as the intermediate construct between trust and distrust. These two contrary yet complementary opposites constitute a duality to be managed from the perspective of yin-yang balancing.</jats:p> </jats:sec> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cross Cultural & Strategic Management CrossRef

Trust-distrust balance: trust ambivalence in Sino-Western B2B relationships

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management , Volume 24 (3): 482-507 – Aug 7, 2017

Trust-distrust balance: trust ambivalence in Sino-Western B2B relationships


Abstract

<jats:sec>
<jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Purpose</jats:title>
<jats:p>The purpose of this paper is to explore how Chinese and Finnish managers in cross-cultural supply-chain relationships evaluate their business partners’ trustworthiness and distrustworthiness.</jats:p>
</jats:sec>
<jats:sec>
<jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Design/methodology/approach</jats:title>
<jats:p>Representatives of two Finnish companies and their Chinese and Finnish suppliers were interviewed to collect qualitative data from 23 managers.</jats:p>
</jats:sec>
<jats:sec>
<jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Findings</jats:title>
<jats:p>The Chinese managers emphasized relationship-specific, personalized trustworthiness. They highlighted personalized communication and benevolence, which manifested in respect and reciprocity, rooted in the Chinese notion of “guanxi” as personal ties. In contrast, the Finnish managers’ view of trustworthiness was more associated with depersonalized organizational attributes. They emphasized the dimension of integrity, especially promise-keeping. In addition, tentative signs of trust ambivalence, as a balance between trust- and distrust-related factors, were identified for both the Chinese and the Finns.</jats:p>
</jats:sec>
<jats:sec>
<jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Research limitations/implications</jats:title>
<jats:p>Due to the exploratory nature of this study the validity of the findings is limited to these data and context. Future studies could explore other national contexts as well as the effects of industry, market position, and position in the supply chain.</jats:p>
</jats:sec>
<jats:sec>
<jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Practical implications</jats:title>
<jats:p>The findings of this study bring a valuable understanding of the potential pitfalls and unique challenges in cross-border inter-firm transactions. These can enhance inter-firm trust building in a cross-cultural context.</jats:p>
</jats:sec>
<jats:sec>
<jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Originality/value</jats:title>
<jats:p>This study enriches the view of trust as a holistic process of simultaneous evaluation of both trustworthiness and distrustworthiness. In this process, trust ambivalence could serve as the intermediate construct between trust and distrust. These two contrary yet complementary opposites constitute a duality to be managed from the perspective of yin-yang balancing.</jats:p>
</jats:sec>

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Publisher
CrossRef
ISSN
2059-5794
DOI
10.1108/ccsm-01-2016-0019
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Purpose</jats:title> <jats:p>The purpose of this paper is to explore how Chinese and Finnish managers in cross-cultural supply-chain relationships evaluate their business partners’ trustworthiness and distrustworthiness.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Design/methodology/approach</jats:title> <jats:p>Representatives of two Finnish companies and their Chinese and Finnish suppliers were interviewed to collect qualitative data from 23 managers.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Findings</jats:title> <jats:p>The Chinese managers emphasized relationship-specific, personalized trustworthiness. They highlighted personalized communication and benevolence, which manifested in respect and reciprocity, rooted in the Chinese notion of “guanxi” as personal ties. In contrast, the Finnish managers’ view of trustworthiness was more associated with depersonalized organizational attributes. They emphasized the dimension of integrity, especially promise-keeping. In addition, tentative signs of trust ambivalence, as a balance between trust- and distrust-related factors, were identified for both the Chinese and the Finns.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Research limitations/implications</jats:title> <jats:p>Due to the exploratory nature of this study the validity of the findings is limited to these data and context. Future studies could explore other national contexts as well as the effects of industry, market position, and position in the supply chain.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Practical implications</jats:title> <jats:p>The findings of this study bring a valuable understanding of the potential pitfalls and unique challenges in cross-border inter-firm transactions. These can enhance inter-firm trust building in a cross-cultural context.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec> <jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Originality/value</jats:title> <jats:p>This study enriches the view of trust as a holistic process of simultaneous evaluation of both trustworthiness and distrustworthiness. In this process, trust ambivalence could serve as the intermediate construct between trust and distrust. These two contrary yet complementary opposites constitute a duality to be managed from the perspective of yin-yang balancing.</jats:p> </jats:sec>

Journal

Cross Cultural & Strategic ManagementCrossRef

Published: Aug 7, 2017

References