Title: The emergence of perceived calculative trust and distrust: the case of a small Finnish pharmaceutical company

Authors: Juha Tuunainen

Addresses: Helsinki Institute of Science and Technology Studies, P.O. Box 18, FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to enhance understanding of the calculative bases of trust and distrust during the negotiation phase of new commercial collaboration relationships. Whereas the existing literature mostly offers quantitative snapshot pictures of inter-firm trust formation, this research followed a process-oriented approach. Analysis of interview and documentary data obtained from two sets of inter-firm collaborative negotiations showed that calculus-based perceived trustworthiness between firms arises from the presence of the following conditions: 1) the partner|s interest in getting involved in the negotiated project; 2) its behavioural consistency and transparency during the collaboration negotiations; 3) its technical competence in carrying out the project duties; 4) its firm financial standing; 5) its compliance with the suggested formal control methods. Distrust, in turn, ensues from the lack of these. These sources of perceived calculative trust and distrust provide the prospective partners with rough practical estimates of how the forthcoming partnership might eventually work out, in other words, they form the bedrock of a new social institution, the collaborative network.

Keywords: trust; distrust; contracts; inter-firm relationships; R&D collaboration; research and development; pharmaceutical industry; international business; drug development; technology development; Finland; negotiation; perceived trustworthiness; collaborative networks; small firms.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTE.2011.043678

International Journal of Technoentrepreneurship, 2011 Vol.2 No.3/4, pp.345 - 361

Received: 13 Oct 2009
Accepted: 02 Feb 2010

Published online: 14 Nov 2011 *

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