PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine the role and importance of trust in a type of Chinese farmer cooperative organization called “Farm Bases” (FBs), considering the extent to which trust affects their performance and how the relationship between trust and FB performance is affected by perceptions of risk and uncertainty and other considerations.Design/methodology/approachThe authors interviewed a random sample of 355 farmers, most of whom are from 42 different FBs in China. The authors operationalized organizational trust by assessing the perception of trustworthiness and competence that farmers have in FB managers. The authors conducted a regression analysis of the data to answer the research questions.FindingsThe findings support a nuanced role of trust for performance measures of FBs. Trust matters but in limited and specific contexts. Specifically, trust does not correlate with the marketing volume of Chinese FBs and only weakly correlates with FB compliance of production standards.Originality/valueFBs play an essential role in China’s agribusiness policies and are pervasive in Chinese business practices. Very little research has been conducted on Chinese FBs and of the role of trust in organizational performance.
British Food Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 5, 2018
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