Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing
Show Less

Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing

Edited by Gary L. Lilien and Rajdeep Grewal

This insightful Handbook provides a comprehensive state-of-the-art review of business-to-business marketing. It supplies an overview and pioneers new ideas relating to the activity of building mutually value-generating relationships between organizations – from businesses to government agencies to not-for-profit organizations – and the many individuals within them.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 18: Trust, Distrust and Confidence in B2B Relationships

Lisa K. Scheer


Lisa K. Scheer* Trust is central in B2B relationships. It increases the ‘ability to adapt to unforeseen problems in ways that are difficult to achieve through arm’s-length ties’ (Uzzi 1996, p. 678) and is the foundation for greater commitment and performance (Palmatier et al. 2007a). Meta-analysis reveals that the ‘effect of trust on satisfaction and long-term orientation is even substantially larger than the direct effect of economic outcomes’ (Geyskens et al. 1998, p. 242). However, ‘while the effects of trust on attitudes and perceptions have been .  .  . fairly consistent and positive, its effects on behavior and performance’ have been weaker (Langfred 2004, p. 385). Although trust has been theorized to improve performance, its actual effect is questionable (Atuahene-Gima and Li 2002; Gundlach and Cannon 2010). Why does trust not consistently generate more favorable performance? Is this due to confusion about what trust is? Critical gaps in our knowledge about trust in B2B relationships remain, including the following: ● ● ● What negative effects could result from greater trust, and how can they be mitigated? What is distrust? Can it affect B2B relationships differently than the absence of trust? How does trust differ from confidence? What are the sources of confidence? Contemplation of these issues highlights avenues for theory building and empirical investigation as well as managerial insights. Despite extensive prior research, trust is definitely ‘worthy of more thorough analysis and a deeper understanding’ (Gundlach and Cannon 2010, p. 411). WHAT IS TRUST? ‘Trust is the belief that one’s partner can be relied on to...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.