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Handbook of Trust Research

Edited by Reinhard Bachmann and Akbar Zaheer

The Handbook of Trust Research presents a timely and comprehensive account of the most important work undertaken in this lively and emerging field over the past ten to fifteen years. Presenting a broad range of approaches to issues on trust, the Handbook features 22 articles from a variety of disciplines on the study of trust in both organizational and societal contexts. With contributions from some of the most eminent names in the field of trust research, this international collaboration is an imaginative and informative reference tool to aid research in this engaging area for years to come.
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Chapter 11: Trust Attitudes, Network Tightness and Organizational Survival: An Integrative Framework and Simulation Model

Arjen van Witteloostuijn and Marc van Wegberg


Arjen van Witteloostuijn and Marc van Wegberg Introduction Anecdotal evidence suggests that dynamic high-growth firms run a large risk of not being able to honor trust. The boom and bust of the dotcoms and the Enron-type scandals provide examples of fast-growing firms that caused a breakdown of trust. This anecdotal evidence suggests that trust building and high dynamics may be conflicting conditions. Fast-growing firms respond to new opportunities. To this end, they may engage in transactions with new partners. New partners may make promises that are hard for them to honor. Without making promises, they will not be invited into a partnership. Once in the partnership, they may not have the resources or the incentives to make it a success. Lack of trust and lack of trustworthy behavior can be a problem with new partnerships. A firm that wants to engage in opportunities with new partners may have to take the risk of nontrustworthy behavior. There is a tradeoff between building trust and participating in a dynamic setting. To realize its goals, an organization tends to need resources from other organizations. This can lead to a state of dependence which the resource-providing organization can opportunistically exploit. Opportunism diminishes the value of the cooperation, and may prevent cooperation where that would be optimal (Roy Chowdhury and Roy Chowdhury, 2001). If the partners in cooperation trust each other, they may be able to overcome the problems of opportunism. Trust can be defined as an expectation held by one trading partner...

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