Handbook of Research Methods on Trust
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Handbook of Research Methods on Trust

Second Edition

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.
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Chapter 11: Cross-cultural comparative case studies: a means of uncovering dimensions of trust

Malin Tillmar


The aim of this chapter is to highlight the value of cross-cultural case study design, as a means of maintaining reflexivity in uncovering dimensions of trust. This will be done through sharing experiences from my studies that were undertaken between 1997 and 2002 and led to my PhD thesis ‘Swedish tribalism and Tanzanian Agency: preconditions for trust and cooperation in a small business context’ (Tillmar, 2002). The research strategy was to carry out qualitative case studies in rural areas in my home country – Sweden – and in a different cultural and institutional context – Tanzania. My ambition in this chapter is to engage in an exercise of reflexivity that interprets my own interpretations (Alvesson and Sköldberg, 2000). One ambition in the thesis was to acknowledge the context dependency of cooperation and trust by studying and comparing small business cooperation in two different settings. Another aim was to suggest a more general and coherent conceptual framework that would make it possible to distinguish the various facets of trust. The choice of conducting qualitative case studies was not too difficult for several reasons. Trust is a social phenomenon that is hard to measure adequately and I took special interest in contextual preconditions (cf. Welter and Alex, Chapter 6 in this volume).

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