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Functional consequences of trust in the construction supply chain: a multi-dimensional view

By E Manu, N Ankrah, EA Chinyio and D Proverbs

Abstract

Trust is often linked to the emergence of cooperative behaviours that contribute to successful project outcomes. However, some have questioned the functional relevance of trust in contractual relations, arguing that control-induced cooperation can emerge from enforcement of contracts. These mixed views are further complicated by the multi-dimensional nature of trust, as different trust dimensions could have varying functional consequences. The aim of this study was to provide some clarity on the functional consequence of trust in the project supply chain. Data was gathered through passive observations, document reviews and semi-structured interviews with supply chain parties on two case study projects in the UK. A thematic data analysis approach was used to uncover multiple perspectives on the functional consequences of trust in the supply chain. Findings revealed that the weaker dimensions of trust, which are impersonal (cognition-based and systems-based) and the stronger (relational-based) dimension of trust, all fostered beneficial behaviours in the supply chain (effective knowledge sharing and self-organising behaviours). However, additional behavioural consequences (relational flexibility and extra commitment) emerged when trust was relational in nature, implying that different trust dimensions and their associated behavioural consequences can be prioritized in the supply chain based on perceived work package risks

Publisher: ARCOM
Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:irep.ntu.ac.uk:28333

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