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Trust, Business Relationships and the Contractual Environment


  • Burchell, Brendan
  • Wilkinson, Frank


The role of trust in vertical contractual relationships between firms in Britain, Germany, and Italy is investigated with a survey of over sixty firms. After a review of the literature in which the nature of trust is discussed and set against a background of social norms and legal systems, data are presented to describe resondents' perceptions of the role of trust in their trading environment, their strategies to foster trust, and their reactions to the breakdown of trust. While there was some evidence of differences in the basis of trust between countries, these were differences of degree rather than of kind. Copyright 1997 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Burchell, Brendan & Wilkinson, Frank, 1997. "Trust, Business Relationships and the Contractual Environment," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 217-237, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:21:y:1997:i:2:p:217-37

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Philip Du Caju & François Rycx & Ilan Tojerow, 2011. "Inter‐Industry Wage Differentials: How Much Does Rent Sharing Matter?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 79(4), pages 691-717, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. S. Nazli Wasti, 2001. "Predictors of Trust in Buyer-Supplier Relations: A Contextual and Cultural Comparison of Japan and Turkey," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-108, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    2. Castellani, Davide & Zanfei, Antonello, 2004. "Choosing international linkage strategies in the electronics industry: the role of multinational experience," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 447-475, April.
    3. Marc Cohen & John Dienhart, 2013. "Moral and Amoral Conceptions of Trust, with an Application in Organizational Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 112(1), pages 1-13, January.
    4. Simon Deakin, 2013. "The Legal Framework Governing Business Firms & its Implications for Manufacturing Scale & Performance: The UK Experience in International Perspective," Working Papers wp449, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    5. repec:spr:epolin:v:44:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s40812-017-0077-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Schmidtchen, Dieter, 2000. "Vertrauen und Recht: eine ökonomische Analyse," CSLE Discussion Paper Series 2000-04, Saarland University, CSLE - Center for the Study of Law and Economics.
    7. Asimina Christoforou, 2005. "On the Determinants of Social Capital in Greece Compared to Countries of the European Union," Working Papers 2005.68, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    8. Wilson, Paul N. & Kennedy, Ana M., 1999. "Trustworthiness As An Economic Asset," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IFAMA), vol. 2(02).
    9. Sue Konzelmann & Frank Wilkinson, 2016. "Co-operation in Production, the Organization of Industry & Productive Systems: A Critical Survey of the 'District' Form of Industrial Organisation & Development," Working Papers wp481, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    10. Saliola, Federica & Zanfei, Antonello, 2009. "Multinational firms, global value chains and the organization of knowledge transfer," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 369-381, March.
    11. Bernard, Darren, 2016. "Is the risk of product market predation a cost of disclosure?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 305-325.

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