Edited by Fergus Lyon, Guido Möllering and Mark N.K. Saunders
Chapter 13: Mixed methods application in trust research: simultaneous hybrid data collection in cross-cultural settings using the board game method
Cross-cultural studies on trust often face problems due to culture-dependent differences in the understanding of what trust actually is. Please see Welter and Alex in Chapter 6 as well as Tillmar in Chapter 11 of this volume for an in-depth discussion of this phenomenon. In this situation, simultaneous collection of qualitative and quantitative data can help the researcher to examine the underlying reasons of the evaluation. The board game method introduced in this chapter supports such data collection. Mixed method application, that is, the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, enables complementary data use (Yauch and Steudel, 2003). The combination of both types of data supports a more profound understanding of a trust, particularly in cross-cultural settings (Pearsall, 1998: 623). Cross-cultural trust comparisons, for example, might suffer from culturally driven differences in underlying definitions. Such differences have been shown, for example, with regard to trustworthiness, and more particularly honesty (Meglino et al., 1992). Although honesty has been shown to be a universal value, cultural influences lead to either an absolute understanding of honesty where there is just one truth that is not bound to any contextual influences (Locke and Woiceshyn, 1995); or a relative understanding where social relations primarily determine social behavior, so that truth becomes relative to the contextual influences (Muethel and Hoegl, 2007).
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