How and why do people trust each other? Does trust develop differently across cultures? Why is it important for organisations to develop a culture of trust? Professor Tan Hwee Hoon shares insights from her research in cross-cultural trust.
Professor Tan Hwee Hoon is Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour & Human Resources at SMU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Business. Her research interests include Interpersonal Trust in Organisation and Cross Cultural Management.
About the paper
Antecedents of trust across foci: A comparative study of Turkey and China
Arzu Wasti, Sabanci University
Hwee Hoon Tan, Singapore Management University
Selin Eser, Sabanci University
Instead of importing Western models of interpersonal trust, we adopted a qualitative approach to understand trust relationships from indigenous cultures' perspectives. We examined trust relationships directed at different foci in the organization (supervisor, peer, and subordinate) in two different countries, Turkey and China. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 Turkish and 30 Chinese employees working for a variety of large-scale organizations located in Istanbul, Turkey and Shenzhen, China. We report the content analysis of trust-building critical incidents narrated by the respondents. While the general antecedents of Ability, Benevolence, and Integrity were found to exist in both countries, Benevolence, with its culture-specific manifestations, played a very important role in trust-building across multiple foci in both countries. We also found that trust relationships in these two contexts tended to go beyond the professional domain, and to involve sharing of personal time, information, and space. Drawing on this evidence, we propose a trust-building process that is more affective in nature and which straddles both work and non-work domains.
Wasti, Arzu; Tan, Hwee Hoon; and Eser, Selin. Antecedents of trust across foci: A comparative study of Turkey and China. (2010). Management and Organization Review. 7, (2), 279-302. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
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Singapore Management University
Cross-cultural, Culture, Trust, Interpersonal, Organisations, Work, Ability, Benevolence, Integrity, Asia, Human Resource, Organisational Behaviour, HR, Collaboration, Happiness, Research, SMU, Singapore Management University, Singapore, Management, Business School, University