Developing trust in vertical product development partnerships: A comparison of South Korea and Austria


We develop and test a model of factors proposed to influence the formation of trust in R&D partnerships in two different cultures. We suggest that specific relational behaviors (communication quality, fairness, and unresolved conflicts) impact trust formation and that national culture has a direct and a moderating effect on trust development. Results of a study of 100 vertical product development partnerships in South Korea and Austria show that communication quality and fairness have a positive effect and unresolved conflicts have a negative effect on the amount of trust developed. We also find a lower amount of trust developed in South Korean partnerships compared to partnerships conducted in Austria. In Austria, the positive effect of communication quality and the negative effect of unresolved conflicts on trust formation are stronger than in South Korea. Overall, the impact of the three relational factors is much stronger than the direct and moderating influence of national culture in the R&D partnerships studied, indicating that the relational elements of trust formation might be more universal than country specific.



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Journal of World Business



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