Handbooks of Research Methods in Management series
Edited by Fergus Lyon, Guido Möllering and Mark N.K. Saunders
Chapter 15: Utilising repertory grids in macro-level comparative studies
This chapter argues that repertory grids are a powerful method which can help transcend the current limitations of trust research. Moving away from the conventional one-questionnaire-fits-all approach, many new insights into the nature of trust can be gained by utilising this method. Repertory grids allow for a high level of context-sensitivity while ensuring comparability of results between individual interview sessions. Although initially not designed to produce aggregated data, it is argued that repertory grids are specifically useful for international comparative research on trust. Trust research has become a relatively established field within management studies. Much conceptual and empirical work has been done in the past two decades to understand what arguably is one of the most important and efficient coordination mechanisms in contemporary business relationships. Apart from a myriad of journal and book publications, a Handbook of Trust Research as well as a Handbook of Advances in Trust Research have been published (Bachmann and Zaheer, 2006; 2013), and even a Journal of Trust Research has been launched recently. These are clearly signs that – despite persisting different views and controversies – this research field has reached a certain degree of maturity. The research community has come up with various definitions of trusting behaviour which converge in the notion of making oneself vulnerable under conditions of limited knowledge and risk. It has managed to develop an understanding of different types of trust relevant in business contexts. For example, Mayer et al.
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