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date: 20 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article takes issue with the notion that calculativeness and not trust dominates inter-organizational relationships (IORs), and lays out a series of arguments in support of trust. While it principally addresses the role of trust in inter-organizational business relationships, much of what is covered here applies as well to relationships between organizations more generally, including those in the public and non-profit sectors. This article shows that trust is different from calculativeness in nature and that the concept of social embeddedness provides a more realistic perspective for analysing relationships between organizations. It is believed that a detailed examination of the role of trust in IORs from both the economic and sociological perspectives paves the way to a deeper understanding of the issues in this context. In turn, such understandings should help identify appropriate research questions to investigate better empirically the precise role of trust in IORs.

Keywords: calculativeness, trust, inter-organizational relationships, non-profit sectors, social embeddedness

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