Oana Branzei: Trust in Cross-cultural Business Relationships

Morela interviews Oana Branzei about a study she and her colleagues recently conducted that examined how trust develops and breaks in cross-cultural business relationships. Utilizing a sample of Canadian and Japanese students, they examined which signs people used to determine whether they trusted a potential joint venture partner. They found that the Canadians (an individualist culture) relied on signs that indicated something about the potential partner’s disposition, but the Japanese (a collectivistic culture) relied on signs about the context in which the joint venture would be embedded. She offers suggestions on how to build trust when dealing cross-culturally.

Oana Branzei

Oana Branzei is an Assistant Professor of Strategy in the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. Prior to joining Ivey, Oana was part of the faculty in the Schulich School of Business at York University. She received her PhD from the University of British Columbia.

Recommended further readings:

  • Bacharach, M., & Gambetta, D. 2001. Trust in signs. In Trust in Society (K.S. Cook, ed.). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.148-184.
  • Branzei, O., Vertinsky, I., & Camp, R.D. II. 2007. Culture-contingent signs of trust in emergent relationships. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 104: 61-82.
  • Doney, P.M., Cannon, J.P., & Mullen, M.R. 1998. Understanding the influence of national culture on the development of trust. Academy of Management Review, 23: 601-620.
  • Fukuyama, F. 1995. Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity. The Free Press: New York.
  • Kramer, R.M. (ed.). 2007. Organizational Trust: A Reader. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  • Kramer, R.M., & Tyler, T.R. (eds.). 1995. Trust in Organizations: Frontiers of Theory and Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Morela Hermandez

Morela Hernandez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management and Organization in the Foster Business School at the University of Washington. She can be reached at morela@u.washington.edu