Edited by Fergus Lyon, Guido Möllering and Mark N.K. Saunders
Chapter 12: Mixed Method Applications in Trust Research: Simultaneous Hybrid Data Collection in Cross-cultural Settings Using the Board Game Method
Miriam Muethel INTRODUCTION Cross-cultural studies on trust often face problems due to culturedependent differences in the understanding of what trust actually is. In this situation, simultaneous collection of qualitative and quantitative data can help the researcher to examine the underlying issues. 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 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). In dealing with such culture-bound differences in the understanding of trust, researchers may wish to discover not only how evaluations of trustworthiness are made but also why. Enhanced insights about the interpretation of trustworthiness can then aid our understanding of variances in the evaluation and, in particular, whether they stem from real or from spurious discrepancies. Real discrepancies are...
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