Title: Cultural relational antecedent of trust: wasta in the United Arab Emirates

Authors: Roudaina K. Houjeir

Addresses: Department of Business, Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi Men's College, P.O. Box 25035, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abstract: Notwithstanding the significant literature on trust in banking, little research has been conducted in an Arab context. UAE culture is influenced by Islamic tradition as well as by Bedouin tribal values. The very different social and cultural characteristics that prevail in the Arab context (Abbas et al., 1995; Darwish, 1998, 2001; Ndubisi and Wah, 2005) suggests that a study might yield insights that would develop our understanding of religion and culture in building up trust. This paper reports on a study into the socio-cultural antecedents of trust in dyadic relationships between Emirati and non-Emirati bankers and their clients in the United Arab Emirates. Data collection involved 170 interviews across 80 dyads. Thematic qualitative analysis was used to analyse the data. The findings extend and develop our understanding of the antecedents of trust and contribute to the existing knowledge by discovering the importance of wasta in building up trust.

Keywords: trust; culture; religion; relational; tribalism; wasta; United Arab Emirates; UAE; banking relationships; socio-cultural antecedents; dyadic relationships; Islam; Islamic tradition; Bedouin tribal values.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMB.2016.081309

International Journal of Islamic Marketing and Branding, 2016 Vol.1 No.4, pp.341 - 355

Received: 21 May 2015
Accepted: 05 Mar 2016

Published online: 04 Jan 2017 *

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