7Cooperation and Coordination

The role of trust in inter-organizational relationships

Anna Brattström and Reinhard Bachmann

Introduction

How should we understand the role of trust in inter-organizational relationships? Trust refers to the ‘willingness of one party to be vulnerable to the actions of another party based on the expectations that the other will perform a particular action important to the trustor, irrespectively of the ability to monitor or control that other party’ (Mayer, Davis, & Schoorman, 1995: 712). The prevailing view in inter-organizational trust research is of trust as a mechanism, which entails a mutual willingness to accept vulnerability in the inter-organizational relationship (Mayer et al., 1995). Hence, inter-organizational ...

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