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Multiple informants and asymmetric interactions of mutual trust in dyadic business relationships

Göran Svensson (Oslo School of Management, Oslo, Norway)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 1 March 2006

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this research is to describe and apply a method with which to measure and evaluate mutual trust in dyadic business relationships with both one‐to‐one and multiple informants, as well as symmetric and asymmetric interactions.

Design/methodology/approach

Application of the perceptual bi‐directionality method, i.e. the PBD‐method, is introduced in this context to measure and evaluate the relationship properties of mutual trust in the context of one‐to‐one and multiple informants, as well as the symmetric and asymmetric interactions, in dyadic business relationships.

Findings

The overall impression of the mutual trust in the studied relationships is that they are well balanced. It may erroneous, since there may be balance deficiencies between the various trust dimensions. The stepwise evaluation of a case example reveals that there are substantial differences between the various trust dimensions measured in the dyadic business relationship.

Research limitations/implications

It is argued that the measurement and evaluation of unidirectional trust issues is not enough in itself to understand the relationship properties of trust between two actors in dyadic business relationships, but that a bi‐directional approach should be applied in terms of the relationship properties of mutual trust. Furthermore, the approach of one‐to‐one key informants might also be insufficient. Instead multiple informants should be used in the measurement and evaluation of the relationship properties of mutual trust in dyadic business relationships and, symmetric, as well as asymmetric, interactions of mutual trust in dyadic contexts should be considered.

Practical implications

The PBD‐method is a formalised and structured method of how to measure and evaluate the mutuality of relationship properties in dyadic contexts. The outcome of the present research is also a set of generic mutuality measures that can be useful in different management and research applications.

Originality/value

The PBD‐method may be used to measure and evaluate multiple key informants' in asymmetric interactions of mutual relationship properties in dyadic contexts, instead of only matching one‐to‐one key informants in symmetric interactions.

Keywords

Citation

Svensson, G. (2006), "Multiple informants and asymmetric interactions of mutual trust in dyadic business relationships", European Business Review, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 132-152. https://doi.org/10.1108/09555340610651848

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited