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Paper info: Trusting in business networks


Trusting in business networks


Morten Boesen and Mette Apollo Rasmussen

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 33rd IMP-conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2017.


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Among others, trust and its impact on business relationships have been one of the dimensions that researchers associated with the IMP Group have studied both conceptually and empirically. However, previous research has mainly studied trust as a rather static explanatory background variable that influences how business relationships develop. This paper aims to establish a more dynamic and interaction-oriented understanding of how trust is built and maintained by interacting actors engaging in business relationships. Hence, this paper explores the research question: “How is trusting developed through interactions in business networks?”. We use the trust literature to qualify our understanding of trust from an interactive perspective. The concept of trusting is explored empirically by analysing observational data from three business promotion networks. The main findings are that trusting is shaped based on episodes of interactions involving three antecedents of trust: ability-based, benevolence-based and integrity-based trust.