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Governments, reciprocal exchange and trust among business associates


Both Pearce and Molm have conducted research in interpersonal trust. Here we apply their work to international business by deriving hypotheses from their work, some compatible, some conflicting. We test them with data from managers in China, the United States, Hong Kong and Thailand using measures from the World Bank, World Competitiveness Report, and Transparency International and managerial interviews. We find support for Pearce's arguments on the effects of governmental facilitation on managers' trust in their business partners, and for extensions of Molm's work on reciprocal exchange to international field settings. For the conflicting hypotheses, results support Pearce's arguments that the structural assurances of facilitative governments lead to higher levels of trust in business associates. © 2005 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. All rights reserved.

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