Edited by Fergus Lyon, Guido Möllering and Mark N.K. Saunders
Chapter 13: Utilising Repertory Grids in Macro-level Comparative Studies
Reinhard Bachmann INTRODUCTION This chapter argues that Repertory Grids are a powerful method which can help transcend the current limitations of trust research. Moving away from the conventional one-questionnaire-fits-all approach, many new insights into the nature of trust can be gained by utilising this method. Repertory Grids allow for a high level of context-sensitivity while ensuring comparability of results between individual interview sessions. Although not initially designed to produce aggregated data, I will argue that repertory grids are especially useful for international comparative research on trust. Trust research has become a relatively established field within management studies. Much conceptual and empirical work has been done in the past two decades to understand what is arguably one of the most important and efficient coordination mechanisms in contemporary business relationships. Apart from a myriad of journal and book publications, a Handbook of Trust Research has been published (Bachmann and Zaheer, 2006), and even a Journal of Trust Research has been launched. These are clearly signs that – despite persisting different views and controversies – this research field has reached a certain degree of maturity. The research community has come up with various definitions of trusting behaviour which converge on the notion of making oneself vulnerable under conditions of limited knowledge and risk. It has managed to develop an understanding of different types of trust relevant in business contexts. For example, Mayer et al. (1995) suggested that competence-based trust, integrity-based trust and benevolence-based trust are the major types of trust that occur in business relationships,...
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