In country we trust? National trust and the governance of international R&D alliances

Seok-Woo Kwon, Jerayr Haleblian, Johan Hagedoorn

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Drawing on a cognitive perspective of trust, we propose that the trust towards an alliance partner’s country, which we call national trust, will affect the governance structure used to organize the alliance between the partners. We further argue that this effect of national trust is moderated by improved information on the partner firm generated both from repeated interactions and the firm's position in an alliance network. Using a sample of international alliances among firms based in Western European countries, we perform several analyses that control for a variety of alternative explanations. We find support for the main effect of national trust on alliance governance decisions, as well as partial support for an information-based moderation such that national trust has lesser influence on governance choices as trust-relevant information on a partner firm increases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-829
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Issue number7
Early online date12 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016

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