Interorganizational trust violations and repairs in a weak legal environment: the case of Ghanaian exporting SMEs

Isaac Oduro Amoako, Fergus Lyon

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This study examines the micro processes through which trust is violated and repaired in SME networks in a developing economy context. By examining businesses operating in contexts with less formalised institutional environments and legal systems in less developed countries, it fills a gap in the literature that has previously focused mostly on studies that predominantly originate from North
America and Europe. The approach taken builds on existing theoretical and empirical studies, and then uses qualitative approaches for theory building. The unit of analysis is the owner/manager and their relationships. Rich data is collected on specific relationships with other parties allowing deeper insights into how cultural norms and values may shape how trust is violated and repaired. In this way, the paper takes an ethnographic approach.
The findings of the paper reveals how organisations violate and repair trust when crossing cultural boundaries, looking at the particular issues that face smaller businesses. Particularly, it shows that culture is an important factor in trust based relations and therefore the concept of trust violation is socially constructed. While some aspects of the trust literature are confirmed, other aspects are refuted showing that context impacts on the processes of trust violation and repair. It therefore contributes to the ongoing development of theoretical understanding on trust across cultural boundaries
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event27th EGOS Colloquium: Reassembling Organizations - University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 7 Jul 20119 Jul 2011


Conference27th EGOS Colloquium: Reassembling Organizations


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