Loughborough University
Han et al. IMM Supply chain Collab Trust and Distrust ACCEPTED 11-8-2021.pdf (331.1 kB)

The trade-off between trust and distrust in supply chain collaboration

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-08-12, 13:40 authored by Weixi Han, Yuan Huang, Mathew Hughes, Michael Zhang
Trust and distrust can play an important role in a healthy supply chain collaborative relationship, and both carry potential shortcomings. Little attention has been paid to understanding and explaining the development process of trust and distrust in supply chain collaborations, especially in an international context. Using the Transaction Cost Economics theory, this study begins by discussing expressions of trust and distrust within the context of a supply chain collaboration dyad. Then, we explore how trust and distrust interact at a network level. Using a novel, longitudinal, multi-case-study approach, this paper provides new empirical evidence of the complementary roles of trust and distrust in supply chain collaboration, exploring how these concepts work together across different stages of the relationship and in different contexts. This study distinguishes between ‘competence trust’ and ‘integrity trust’ concerning collaboration contracts which typically create distrust. Finally, this paper offers unique insights into the influence of culture on the interpretation and performance of trust and distrust in international supply chain collaboration, grounded in the context of the Chinese automotive industry.



  • Business and Economics


  • Business

Published in

Industrial Marketing Management








  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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© Elsevier

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Industrial Marketing Management and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2021.08.005.

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Highlights: • We challenge the idea that trust and distrust substitute for each other as ends of a continuum. • We provide a more nuanced platform on which to deploy a TCE-trust lens to understand productive and unproductive supply chain collaboration. • We provide insights into more nuanced forms of trust predicting the conditions under which supply chain collaborations develop healthy versus unhealthy levels of trust, and the forms of that trust. • We offer unique insights into the influence of culture on the interpretation and performance of trust and distrust in international SCC. • We present longitudinal, multi-case data of international supply chain collaboration in the Chinese automotive industry.




  • en


Prof Mat Hughes. Deposit date: 11 August 2021