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From interpersonal to interorganizational trust: The role of indirect reciprocity

Vanneste, BS; (2016) From interpersonal to interorganizational trust: The role of indirect reciprocity. Journal of Trust Research 10.1080/21515581.2015.1108849. Green open access

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Abstract

How does interpersonal trust (i.e., between individuals) lead to interorganizational trust (i.e., between groups of individuals)? I build a bottom-up theory in which interorganizational trust arises from individuals and their dispositions, actions, and observations. The theory is based on indirect reciprocity, whereby A helps B and then C helps A. Using a simulation model, I analyze (a) whether indirect reciprocity can lead to trust between two organizations even when many people are involved, when the extent of their indirect reciprocation differs, and when helping others is costly; and (b) how the presence of a boundary spanner affects this process. The main findings are that (a) indirect reciprocity can indeed create interorganizational trust under such conditions, and that, in fact, indirect may outperform direct reciprocity. Furthermore, (b) boundary spanners can decrease or increase interorganizational trust: They may decrease it by boosting their own trust at the expense of that of others, and they may increase it by enhancing indirect reciprocity for everyone through four mechanisms: contributing, discriminating, initiating, and consolidating.

Type: Article
Title: From interpersonal to interorganizational trust: The role of indirect reciprocity
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/21515581.2015.1108849
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21515581.2015.1108849
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: interorganisational trust, interpersonal trust, indirect reciprocity, boundary spanners, simulation
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1472247
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