TRUST IN CROSS-CULTURAL B2B FINANCIAL SERVICE RELATIONSHIPS: THE ROLE OF SHARED VALUES
Trust in business-to-business supplier–customer relationships in financial services is an area of considerable research interest. The bulk of prior empirical research in this field has concentrated on trust in business relationships within a Western cultural context. However, shared values are acknowledged to be an important antecedent to trust. The premise of this study is that in circumstances where there are substantial cultural differences between parties to a supplier–customer relationship, these differences will be reflected in shared values, which will in turn be reflected in differences in the nature of trust. A qualitative study was conducted among business bankers and their corporate clients in the context of the United Arab Emirates. In all 170 respondents were interviewed; of these, 160 were paired respondents, that is, where a client and banker from the same business relationship were interviewed (yielding 80 interview dyads). Substantial differences with respect to trust were found between relationships that involved only Emiratis, those that involved Emiratis and non-Emiratis, and those that involved only non-Emiratis. For Emiratis mutual trust is substantially based on family and clan ties and exhibits strongly affective characteristics. For non-Emiratis trust is largely based on business considerations, and exhibits strongly cognitive characteristics.