An examination of trust dimensions across high and low dependence situations

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James S. Boles, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Purpose: Relationship marketing literature has provided support of a multidimensional trust construct; however, there is little consensus on its structure. This article builds on existing theory to propose and empirically test a three-dimensional trust construct including ability, integrity, and benevolence dimensions. Furthermore, the article examines this conceptualization of the construct across different relationship types as established by dependence form. Methodology: We choose to use a scenario/survey data collection method to replicate specific relationship types for a national purchasing agent sample. This method allows us to obtain adequate sample sizes to compare the relative importance of trust dimensions using structural equation modeling. Findings: We found empirical evidence to support a three-dimensional trust construct for use in further examination of buyer–seller relationships. In addition, we found differential importance of those dimensions across different relationship forms. Research Implications: By providing empirical support for a multidimensional trust construct and further specifying the importance of each dimension in various relationship forms, we hope to provide a strong foundation on which to build further trust research. Practical Implications: In examining trust among purchasing agents, we hope to provide a strong foundation for salespeople to understand how their actions impact their long-term relationships. Understanding that trust in a relationship involves more than simple integrity or completing promises should help boundary spanners develop stronger ties. Contribution: The main contribution of the article is the concept that trust needs to be researched in ways other than simply asking “Do you trust your supplier?”

Additional Information

Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing Volume 17 (Number 3 2010) pp. 215-225
Language: English
Date: 2010
trust, dependence, relationships, scenarios, structural equation modeling

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