A Case Study of the Development of Trust in a Business Relation: Implications for a Dynamic Theory of Trust

Yimin Stephanie Huang, Ian F. Wilkinson


This paper aims to examine and conceptualize the dynamics of trust in business relationships, including its dimensions, processes and determinants, based on an in-depth case history of a 10-year sponsorship relationship between Chinese and Western firms. A contribution of this research is the distinction between trusting attitudes and trusting actions that underlie the dynamics of trust. An analytical framework is developed to show how these two dimensions evolve through distinct but connected processes that are embedded in relationship evolution and affected by different contextual factors.


Business relations and networks; Trust dynamics and evolution; China; Sponsorship relations

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