Trust in Market Relationships
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Trust in Market Relationships

Sandro Castaldo

Trust in Market Relationships illustrates that the importance of trust in a commercial arena has intensified as markets have become more complex. As business relationships become ever critical for a firm’s economic results in highly competitive markets, and trust represents the basic platform for the development of successful long-term collaborations.
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Chapter 3: Multidisciplinary Studies on Trust

Sandro Castaldo


INTRODUCTION Trust has been examined, at various analytical levels, by diverse disciplines. In fact, the degree of construct abstraction has enabled its contextualization in several relational contexts. Trust that develops among individuals in relationships with kin and friends has been analysed by psychology and sociology. When the interacting parties belong to the same organizational structure or to the same workteam, their interaction becomes the focus of organization studies. Their aim is to understand how social mechanisms facilitate collaboration among individuals committed to the same task, achieving greater effectiveness with less control. By the same token, two individuals interacting while playing interfacing roles in different structures, as buyer and seller, establish an exchange relationship which represents the focus of relational marketing scholars and, in particular, of those specialized in sales management. The latter are particularly interested in understanding whether trust plays a positive role in a negotiation’s successful conclusion and, if that role is confirmed, the modes that can increase the seller’s perceived reliability. The generalization level characterizing the construct makes it applicable not only to interpersonal relationships but also to interactions between different organizational structures. Even at that level, the concept may be applied to different relational contexts: alliances and joint ventures among firms with complementary competences and resources; partnerships among firms at various levels of the supply chain; inter-organizational relations in industrial districts; supply and channel relations and – in more general terms – all inter-organizational relations involving interactions between a buyer and a seller firm....

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