Table of Contents

Handbook of Research Methods on Trust

Handbook of Research Methods on Trust

Second Edition

Handbooks of Research Methods in Management series

Edited by Fergus Lyon, Guido Möllering and Mark N.K. Saunders

With the growing interest in trust in the social sciences, this second edition of the Handbook of Research Methods on Trust provides a fully updated and extended account of quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods for empirical research. While many researchers have already drawn inspiration and insight from the previous edition, the dynamic development of trust research calls for further and deeper engagement with methodological issues, particular methods, practical research experience, and current challenges and innovations as offered by this new edition.

Chapter 15: Utilising repertory grids in macro-level comparative studies

Reinhard Bachmann

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies, research methods in business and management


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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