Understanding Institutional-based Trust Building Processes in Inter-organizational Relationships

Reinhard Bachmann*, Andrew Inkpen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper deals with the role of institutions in the development of trust in relationships between organizations. We review various strands of literature on organizational trust and examine the assumptions made about how trust building processes are influenced by institutional arrangements. Following this conceptual analysis, we discuss four mechanisms that are pivotal in the development of institutional-based trust. We also examine four situations where the influence of institutions can be particularly conducive to building trust. Finally, we argue that each of the situations calls for specific mechanisms to be predominantly employed in order to effectively create trust in inter-organizational relationships.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)281-301
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Institutional-based trust
  • Institutions
  • Inter-organizational relationships
  • Trust
  • Trust building

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