This paper examines how inter-organizational and interpersonal trust are created and how these trust levels can be balanced to create positive outcomes in high-involvement customer–supplier relationships. Using a theoretical analysis and conceptual development, we propose a framework highlighting different drivers and moderators of the two trust levels. The integrative framework emphasizes the antecedents of interpersonal and inter-organizational trust (competence, honesty, and benevolence vs transparency and foreseeing conflicts) and the role of relational signaling as a moderator to catalyze the “leap of faith,” as well as the articulation of trust-level bases and outcomes. The paper contributes to the discussion on trust levels’ drivers and the need to use relational signaling in order to create and maintain effective trust at the interpersonal and inter-organizational levels. Unlike most of the existing literature, we argue that interpersonal trust does not necessarily develop into the fold of inter-organizational trust. Studying the antecedents and consequences of trust in the context of high-involvement relationships adds new insights to the understanding of customer–supplier relationships.
Akrout, H. and La Rocca, A. (2019), "Interpersonal and Inter-organizational Trust in High-involvement Customer–Supplier Relationships: Antecedents, Consequences, and Moderators", New Insights on Trust in Business-to-Business Relationships (Advances in Business Marketing and Purchasing, Vol. 26), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 87-102. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1069-096420190000026008
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