This paper investigates the evolution of trust in long-term inter-organisational relationships. It begins with a conceptualisation of the nature of trust in different forms of inter-organisational relationships. The paper moves on to present findings from contrasting and complementary empirical research which explores how trust develops in the particular case of strategic alliances. In this context, it is found that accelerated trust development is frequently necessary in order to quickly transfer resources and achieve value from the relationship. A longitudinal perspective is adopted which articulates and interprets changes in sources and signals of trust over time. The findings show how diverse and dynamic trust signalling mechanisms play a critical role in the evolutionary trust creation process.
- inter-organisational relations
- strategic alliances
- time and timing