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 5: Trust Definition: A Content Meta-Analysis

Sandro Castaldo


5. Trust definition: a content meta-analysis 1. INTRODUCTION A feature common to all of the disciplines that have studied the concept of trust is the lack of a shared, clear definition of this construct. Shapiro (1987: 625) has clearly synthesized this situation maintaining that although trust has been conceptualized in numerous analyses, the result has been a ‘confusing potpourri of definitions applied to a host of units and levels of analysis’. McAllister (1995: 709) and Andaleeb (1992: 7) share this view and the latter asserts: ‘an examination of social sciences literature suggests that there is some conceptual confusion regarding the construct’. Considering the great variety of definitions, Mutti (1987: 224) states ‘the multiplicity of meanings ascribed to the concept of trust in social analysis is disconcerting. Undoubtedly this regrettable state of affairs is the outcome of general historical neglect, as if by effect of a bizarre selfreflective mechanism, social science does not trust in the possibility of relevantly reflecting upon trust’.1 The above-mentioned misalignment has caused a good deal of ‘communication’ problems among scholars who allegedly refer to the same construct while actually referring to considerably different trust concepts and typologies. Thus, the academic discussion is quite sterile, since it is vitiated by different objects of analysis that inevitably determine different (and at times conflicting) interpretative proposals. When the debated issue is clearly expounded, the nature of the discussion and the stances are easily comprehensible; yet, when the...

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