Negative Effects on Trust in B2B Relationships
Abstract: Background: The concept of relationship marketing is a continuously growing research area in the field of academic research. A topic being widely discussed is which factors builds trust and the importance of having trust in business-to-business (B2B) relationships. However, there is a lack of research in the field of which factors have a negative effect on the level of trust in business relationships. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explain which factors are crucial to maintain trust in a B2B relationship. Focus: The focus in this study is on trust in B2B relationships. Particularly how it is negatively affected by lacking the building blocks needed in order to have trust in such a relationship. Method: This study made use of a deductive, quantitative approach. By using a survey, the data was gathered through an online questionnaire sent out via e-mail to 700 Swedish B2B companies. Results: In total, answers from 141 were reliable. In SPSS analyses for regression, reliability, and validity were conducted. Out of the five stated hypotheses, three were accepted and two rejected. Conflict handling was shown to have the largest influence on the level of trust together with communication and competence. Commitment and contracts were rejected in the hypotheses testing. Conclusion: A new model is presented where the accepted hypotheses act as influencers on trust. The conclusion of this study is that if there is a lack of conflict handling, communication, and competence it will have a negative effect on trust in a B2B relationship. Due to limitations of the study, other research opportunities derive. It is suggested that future research should explore the differentiation between different industries and/or different kind of actors within the B2B-relation or countries.
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