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Special Issue "Trust Management: Key Factor of the Sustainable Organizations Embedded in Network"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Barbara Kożuch

Institute of Economics, Finance and Management, Jagiellonian University Kraków, 31-007 Kraków, Poland
Website | E-Mail
Interests: foundations of management sciences; systems and methods of management; project management and human resource management; multicultural management; conditions of efficient functioning of the public sector; particularly in regards to change management in health care; education; culture; public safety
Guest Editor
Prof. Adam Jabłoński

Institute of Management, WSB University Poznań, Faculty in Chorzów, 41-506 Poznań, Poland
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 0 606 364 500
Interests: trust management; networks; intellectual capital; public management; sustainable business; sustainable business models; business models; performance management; corporate social responsibility; value-based management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, trust is an important determinant of the development of modern organizations. Not only does it become an increasingly important element of the relationship between entities, but, above all, it positively influences the building of the organization's intellectual capital. This capital is differently classified, but always contains components that determine the potential of sustainable organizations, often in the human, social, relational, organizational and innovation dimensions. Trust is more often the key determinant of this capital (Kożuch, Lenart-Gansiniec, 2017). It can be differently defined. However, the basis of many definitions is building relationships focused on developing some kind of individual or inter-organizational link. Organizational trust is defined as authentic and advanced, which is the basis of all organized activities performed by people in the organization, largely due to such features as needing trust, developed through relationships, and the relationship with integrity and commitment. Thus, it is interesting to associate the category of trust with building the intellectual capital of the sustainable organization. Intellectual capital plays a special role here. It is a navigator and platform for achieving not only the competitive advantage of the sustainable organization but also the source of value creation in the short and long term. Then, this strategic hybrid composed of a business model, strategy and business processes is favorable to the development of intellectual capital (Jabłoński 2017). Trust is an element that ties this capital with relationships in business. This has an integrated character (R.C. Mayer, J. H. Davis, F. D. Schoorman 1995). Assuming that nowadays an important paradigm is the network paradigm, it is worth asking how the mechanism of building trust-based intellectual capital of the sustainable organization functions as its key asset in a network environment.

References:

Kożuch, B.; Lenart-Gansiniec, R. Trust and Knowledge Sharing. In Intuition, Trust, and Analytics; Liebowitz, L., Paliszkiewicz, J., Gołuchowski, J., Eds.; CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, Auerbach Publications: ‎Boca Raton, FL, USA, 2018.

Jabłoński, A. (Ed.) Conceptualization and operationalization of a strategic hybrid with a geometric approach. In Business Models, Strategies, Impacts and Challenges; Nova Publishers: New York, NY, USA, 2017.

Mayer, R.C.; Davis, J.H.; Schoorman, F.D. An Integrative Model of Organizational Trust. Acad. Manage. Rev. 1995, 20, 712–714.

Prof. Barbara Kożuch
Prof. Adam Jabłoński
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • trust management
  • networks
  • intellectual capital
  • sustainable organizations
  • sustainable business models
  • sustainable strategy
  • sustainable performance management
  • business continuity
  • sustainable value

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Trust-Based Quality Culture Conceptual Model for Higher Education Institutions
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2599; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082599
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 16 July 2018 / Accepted: 18 July 2018 / Published: 24 July 2018
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Abstract
Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) play a crucial role in societies as they enhance the sustainable development of nations. In a context of increasing competition and financial difficulties in higher education institutions, the loyalty of students, faculty and administration staff as well as institutional
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Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) play a crucial role in societies as they enhance the sustainable development of nations. In a context of increasing competition and financial difficulties in higher education institutions, the loyalty of students, faculty and administration staff as well as institutional reputation are key factors for survival and success. They are built upon trust and high quality of services rendered by HEIs. The intentional development of trust serves the purpose of enhancing the quality culture in higher education. The concept of quality culture has become a natural successor of quality management and quality assurance in universities presenting a new perspective for viewing quality at HEIs—as a combination of structural and managerial with cultural and psychological components. This paper provides an elaboration of a novel Trust-Based Quality Culture Conceptual Model for Higher Education Institutions which presents the perceived interconnections between trust and quality culture at HEIs. It can form a source for an inquiry process at HEIs, thus contributing to better contextual diagnosis of the stage where HEI is in the process of building the quality culture based on trust. The findings of this study are important in better understanding the quality culture development in HEIs that is based on trust, loyalty and reputation. It may have an impact on the decision-making processes concerning HEIs’ management. The proposed model contributes to the need for greater clarity, ordering and systematization of the role of trust in the processes of quality culture development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Investigating the Links of Interpersonal Trust in Telecommunications Companies
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2555; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072555
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 19 July 2018 / Published: 20 July 2018
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Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to determine if there are links between interpersonal trust and competences, relations, and cooperation in Polish telecommunications companies. It examines which factors affect trust in co-workers and managers in sustainable organizations. The paper surveys a sample of
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The purpose of this paper is to determine if there are links between interpersonal trust and competences, relations, and cooperation in Polish telecommunications companies. It examines which factors affect trust in co-workers and managers in sustainable organizations. The paper surveys a sample of 175 employees of telecommunications companies in Poland by means of a questionnaire. The results indicate that competences, relations, and cooperation are related to interpersonal trust. Regression analysis showed that competences and relations predict a significant variance in trust amongst co-workers. Additionally, cooperation contributes to prediction of trust in mangers. Given the importance of trust in sustainable organizations, better comprehension of which factors are related to team confidence provides valuable information for stakeholders and about how to improve interpersonal trust in sustainable organizations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Trust on Acquisition Success: The Case of Israeli Start-Up M&A
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2499; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072499
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 24 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 17 July 2018
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Abstract
Given the frequent failure of many M&A deals, the question of their sustainability is a critical one. Still, in existing literature, there is a visible emphasis on the perspective of the acquiring firm and its characteristics in affecting M&A performance. Moreover, the role
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Given the frequent failure of many M&A deals, the question of their sustainability is a critical one. Still, in existing literature, there is a visible emphasis on the perspective of the acquiring firm and its characteristics in affecting M&A performance. Moreover, the role of trust, both from the acquiring and acquired firms, has not received extensive attention to date. The present paper builds on a quantitative and qualitative study of Israeli high-tech start-ups acquired by international firms to explore the effects of trust on M&A success. Our study indicates that trust from acquired firm managers positively affects acquisition success, although trust from the acquiring firm (expressed with the autonomy that it leaves to the acquired firm) is not a significant predictor of acquisition success. Full article
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Open AccessArticle In Search of Network Sustainability: A Multi-Level Perspective on the Paradox of Cooperation and Competition in Networks
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2466; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072466
Received: 27 May 2018 / Revised: 28 June 2018 / Accepted: 9 July 2018 / Published: 13 July 2018
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Abstract
Although all types of public collaborative networks are aimed towards taking joint actions, relations between partner organizations are not always so explicit. Referring to the dialectic approach, it may be concluded that a number of tensions are identifiable in networks, among them tension
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Although all types of public collaborative networks are aimed towards taking joint actions, relations between partner organizations are not always so explicit. Referring to the dialectic approach, it may be concluded that a number of tensions are identifiable in networks, among them tension between cooperation and competition. Understanding the tensions that exist in inter-organizational networks is vital for a proper comprehension of networks, as continuous efforts to meet multiple, divergent demands should bring about long–term sustainability. To examine the phenomena of cooperation and competition in interorganizational networks, a quantitative study on local partnerships among Social Welfare Centers and other public institutions and non-profit institutions was conducted. Using a multi-level perspective, the research introduces orientation towards both cooperation and competition at different levels of analysis and examines the tensions between them. The results of this research show that there is a mutual influence of orientation towards competition/cooperation, both at the individual level and the network level, and that there is a mutual influence of the reconciliation of the contradictions between orientation towards cooperation and orientation towards competition both at the individual level and the network level. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Inter-Partner Trust on Third-Country Relocation of International Joint Ventures in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2384; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072384
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 3 July 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 9 July 2018
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Abstract
This study explores how inter-partner trust in international joint ventures (IJV) affects third country relocation decisions as foreign partners face an uncertain business environment in China due to wage increases and competition from local companies intensifies. As the concept of third-country relocation is
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This study explores how inter-partner trust in international joint ventures (IJV) affects third country relocation decisions as foreign partners face an uncertain business environment in China due to wage increases and competition from local companies intensifies. As the concept of third-country relocation is relatively new compared to other international business concepts, it is crucial to find a solid framework that can explain this phenomenon. A study of 232 Korean IJVs operating in China was used to assess the relationship between inter-partner trust and third-country relocation intention. Also, we measured moderating variables that strengthen (plant performance, asset specificity, coercive pressure) and weaken (mimetic pressure and normative pressure) the negative relationship between trust and third-country relocation intention. The main effect and interaction effects were significant in showing that inter-partner trust hinders decisions on IJV’s third-country relocation. In addition, the results show that trust and third-country relocation relationship interact with other moderating variables. In conclusion, our study suggests that foreign IJVs should explore various aspects such as inter-partner relationships and internal and institutional factors before making decisions on IJV relocation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Trust and Distress Prediction in Modal Shift Potential of Long-Distance Road Freight in Containers: Modeling Approach in Transport Services for Sustainability
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2370; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072370
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 2 July 2018 / Accepted: 5 July 2018 / Published: 8 July 2018
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Abstract
Confidence in intermodal transport has not yet been defined. There are many different approaches to the concept of trust. However, the authors have integrated them with the paradigm shift in light of the challenges of sustainability. The objective of this article is to
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Confidence in intermodal transport has not yet been defined. There are many different approaches to the concept of trust. However, the authors have integrated them with the paradigm shift in light of the challenges of sustainability. The objective of this article is to indicate the directions and criteria for that indicate the implementation of the paradigm shift, relative to the idea of sustainable transport. The auxiliary objective is to predict which countries in a given year will have the TRUST status, i.e., implement the paradigm shift, and which ones will not implement it (DISTRESS). The study used taxonometric techniques and built a model using General Discriminant Analysis. On these bases, the utility function was approximated, including the directions of implementation of the paradigm shift, depending on the scale of the environmental load of transport. Over the course of this research, an original and innovative econometric model was constructed, pointing to three variables which have the greatest impact on trust. Thanks to the cognitive value of the model, it is possible to identify individuals who deserve trust (i.e., it will implement the paradigm shift) with 93% probability. In the future, it is worth expanding the research by programing models for each country. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Trust Repair after Opportunistic Behaviors in the Chinese Construction Projects
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2339; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072339
Received: 31 May 2018 / Revised: 28 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 5 July 2018
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Abstract
Developing the trust of contractors is important for subcontractors since the trust can help subcontractors obtain a sound reputation and more chances of subcontracting. Nonetheless, the trust can be broken by opportunistic behaviors. Thus, subcontractors should utilize effective trust repair strategies to repair
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Developing the trust of contractors is important for subcontractors since the trust can help subcontractors obtain a sound reputation and more chances of subcontracting. Nonetheless, the trust can be broken by opportunistic behaviors. Thus, subcontractors should utilize effective trust repair strategies to repair trust after it is violated, so as to maintain the role of trust. As a result, this study compares denial, apology, and penance as strategies for trust repair, after subcontractors demonstrate opportunistic behaviors to violate contractors’ trust in construction projects. And this study also discusses the effect of the frequency of opportunistic behaviors on the three trust repair strategies in construction projects. Scenario-based experiments are utilized as a research methodology. According to the experimental results, when a subcontractor demonstrates a single opportunistic behavior to break a contractor’s trust, the most effective strategy to repair trust is penance. The least effective strategy is denial. However, when a subcontractor has repeated opportunistic behaviors to break contractor’s trust, denial, apology, or penance has only a very limited effectiveness in trust repair. In addition, the effectiveness of the three trust repair strategies does not have significant differences. This study benefits the development of a trust repair theory applicable to construction projects. Moreover, this study offers information to assist subcontractors in utilizing the most efficient strategy to repair the trust that has been violated by opportunistic behaviors in Chinese subcontractors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle How to Build Consumer Trust: Socially Responsible or Controversial Advertising
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2173; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072173
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 10 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 26 June 2018
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Abstract
Developing trust in a product, brand or company is a significant part of building a successful consumer-company relationship. Two-way communication is one of the main factors weighing on the level of consumer trust. Advertising as a communication tool that elicits lots of attention
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Developing trust in a product, brand or company is a significant part of building a successful consumer-company relationship. Two-way communication is one of the main factors weighing on the level of consumer trust. Advertising as a communication tool that elicits lots of attention and emotions is a big part of the trust building process. Its character—whether socially responsible or controversial sets a tone for the communication and influences the receptiveness of the message. Companies undertake various efforts to make their messages more attractive to recipients and seek new ways to attract customers’ attention. Many companies experiment with unconventional and controversial advertising designs and tones, as it seems that there is some level of social acceptance for original, emotional and shocking marketing messages. This paper aims to analyze this level of the social acceptance in more detail. The study focuses on the following marketing dilemma: Should companies continue to use socially responsible advertising or should they adopt more controversial or even unethical strategies? The managers of 626 enterprises were interviewed to find out the answer. The research compares controversial advertising efforts with consumers’ evaluations of the messages to which they are exposed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Explanatory Power of Reciprocal Behavior for the Inter-Organizational Exchange Context
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1850; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061850
Received: 16 May 2018 / Revised: 25 May 2018 / Accepted: 25 May 2018 / Published: 2 June 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (817 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to create sustainable competitive advantages, organizations are embedded in dyadic exchange relationships, which depend on the coordination of the behavior of the actors involved. Often, coordinated behavior is explained by trust. Since trust develops in a process of reciprocal responses to
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In order to create sustainable competitive advantages, organizations are embedded in dyadic exchange relationships, which depend on the coordination of the behavior of the actors involved. Often, coordinated behavior is explained by trust. Since trust develops in a process of reciprocal responses to presumed trustworthy behavior, it is a reciprocity-based concept. While inter-organizational exchange relationships can appear in different stages (forming, establishing, broken), different reciprocity types (direct, indirect, negative) can be distinguished. The study links reciprocal behavior to different stages of inter-organizational exchange relationships in order to investigate reciprocity as a possible coordination mechanism of behavior and thus explore the basis of coordination of trust-based behavior. Qualitative Comparative Analysis as a set-theoretic approach is applied to analyze the empirical data consisting of 78 qualitative semi-structured interviews with managers of small-, medium- and large-sized companies. The results show that different reciprocity types become effective in different stages of an inter-organizational exchange relationship: For forming inter-organizational exchange relationships indirect reciprocal behavior, besides direct reciprocity, becomes effective while in establishing inter-organizational exchange relationships, direct reciprocal behavior is evident. Negative reciprocal behavior leads to a break up of relationships. Using these results, on the one hand, the concept of trust can be sharpened by deepening the understanding of the trust-building mechanisms and on the other hand, reciprocity can be seen as coordination mechanism in exchange relationships of different stages. In doing so, with this knowledge, relationships can be coordinated towards a long-term orientation in order to create sustainable advantages. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Managing Sustainable Use of Antibiotics—The Role of Trust
Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010143
Received: 6 December 2017 / Revised: 3 January 2018 / Accepted: 5 January 2018 / Published: 9 January 2018
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Abstract
Human overuse of antibiotics is the main driver of antibiotic resistance. Thus, more knowledge about factors that promote sustainable antibiotic use is urgently needed. Based upon findings from the management of other sustainability and collective action dilemmas, we hypothesize that interpersonal trust is
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Human overuse of antibiotics is the main driver of antibiotic resistance. Thus, more knowledge about factors that promote sustainable antibiotic use is urgently needed. Based upon findings from the management of other sustainability and collective action dilemmas, we hypothesize that interpersonal trust is crucial for people’s propensity to cooperate for the common objective. The aim of this article is to further our understanding of people’s antibiotic consumption by investigating if individuals’ willingness to voluntarily abstain from antibiotic use is linked to interpersonal trust. To fulfill the aim, we implement two empirical investigations. In the first part, we use cross-section survey data to investigate the link between interpersonal trust and willingness to abstain from using antibiotics. The second part is based on a survey experiment in which we study the indirect effect of trust on willingness to abstain from using antibiotics by experimentally manipulating the proclaimed trustworthiness of other people to abstain from antibiotics. We find that interpersonal trust is linked to abstemiousness, also when controlling for potential confounders. The survey experiment demonstrates that trustworthiness stimulates individuals to abstain from using antibiotics. In conclusion, trust is an important asset for preserving effective antibiotics for future generations, as well as for reaching many of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Role Played by Trust and Its Effect on the Competiveness of Logistics Service Providers in Hungary
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2303; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122303
Received: 30 October 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 12 December 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2763 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research focuses on the role of trust and the impact of its level on the revenue, earnings before tax and the degree of flexibility of logistics service providers (LSPs). More specifically, the role of the executive manager is examined in relation to
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This research focuses on the role of trust and the impact of its level on the revenue, earnings before tax and the degree of flexibility of logistics service providers (LSPs). More specifically, the role of the executive manager is examined in relation to the impact of business relationships (trust levels) within and between organizations. In addition, the analysis covers the development of revenue, earnings before tax and degree of flexibility of logistics service providers in the context of the role of the head manager. The data were collected from 51 logistics service providers in Hungary. The results show that the level of trust established in the organization (with the employees, co-workers etc.) has a positive impact on the earnings before tax. Furthermore, this paper confirms that the trust executive managers establish around them is an important performance factor which even consumers perceive and that it has major significance in terms of degree of flexibility. This research further increases our understanding of the role and importance of trust as a strategic success factor for LSPs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle (Dis)Trust, Control, and Project Success: From a Chinese Project Owner’s Perspective
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1936; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9111936
Received: 10 September 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 31 October 2017
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Abstract
This research aims to investigate the relationship between interorganizational trust and control and their effects on the project success from the perspective of project owners. Based on relevant literature and the actual situation in the Chinese construction industry, trust was classified as calculative
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This research aims to investigate the relationship between interorganizational trust and control and their effects on the project success from the perspective of project owners. Based on relevant literature and the actual situation in the Chinese construction industry, trust was classified as calculative trust and relational trust, and control was classified as outcome control, behavior control, and social control. Results show that project owners’ distrust of contractors is independent of project owners’ trust of contractors. Calculative trust has a positive influence on all kinds of control. Relational trust has negative impacts on outcome control and behavior control and positive impacts on social control. Of the three kinds of control, outcome and behavior control have negative impacts on social control. All constructs have positive impacts on project success. Project managers should be aware that distrust has a positive influence on project success through the mediation effects of control. Similarly, social control is the most influential type of control, influencing the controller to internalize norms to complete project tasks. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: To cooperate or not to cooperate - the explanatory power of reciprocal behaviour for exchange context
Authors: Martina Pieperhoff
Abstract: The functioning of inter-organizational exchange relations requires the coordination of the behaviour of the actors involved. Coordinated behaviour that cannot be adequately explained by hierarchy and market is explained by trust. In general, trust and (exchange) relations can be explained by reciprocity which can be categorised by different types (direct, general, negative). Depending on the specific context in which inter-organizational exchange takes place (in the beginning, established, abandonment), it is assumed that different reciprocity types appear. Thus, this article focusses on which different types of reciprocity occur in specific exchange contexts and thus produce trust between the actors involved. In order to answer the research question, a Qualitative Comparative Analysis is conducted. 79 interviews are analysed by a set-theoretical approach.

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