Title page for ETD etd-05072010-120949

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Orleow, Lisa
URN etd-05072010-120949
Document Title The impact of inter-organisational trust dimensions on first time purchase intent in professional services
Degree MBA
Department Gordon Institute of Business Science
Advisor Name Title
Ms K Chipp Supervisor
  • trust dimensions
Date 2010-04-11
Availability unrestricted

Business to business trust is topical, and the decision to outsource noncore professional services is gaining momentum. This study sought to understand the role of trust in the selection of a first time professional services provider.

Through a review of the literature, the study built a model of six trust dimensions in the business to business space, structured by two factors - Trust and Reliance. Using non probability sampling, decision makers and influencers across heterogeneous companies and industries were surveyed through a web based, self completed questionnaire. Using 157 responses, the model was tested in terms of its components (trust dimensions, grouped into the two factors) and outcomes (the relationship between the trust dimensions, Global Trust, and the trust factors on first time Purchase Intent).

Little proof was found for the proposed model, from a six dimensions or two factors perspective. Revealed by the data, however, was a new two factor solution – Earned trust (trust based on past performance) and Expected trust (trust derived from the expectation of performance going forward). Global Trust was found to have a significant relationship with Purchase Intent; Interpersonal trust was found to be the most prominent dimension influencing the buying decision; and Expected Trust was revealed as the most influential and valid individual factor.

Key limitations include the single item Purchase Intent scale; the heterogeneous sample in terms of industry and company size; the specialisation of the sample to the purchasing of small business management and consulting projects and the cross sectional nature of the research. Going forward this would imply the need to source a multi itemed Purchase Intent scale to strengthen the scale’s degree of validity, accuracy, and reliability; explore the trust and Purchase Intent relationship in both small and large companies and from an industry specific perspective; investigate more fully the business management and consulting skills service subset; and test for the respective importance of Earned versus Expected trust in relation to Purchase Intent across the phases of relationship development.

The study offers empirical proof for the relationship between Global Trust and Purchase Intent in professional services and for the importance of interpersonal relationships in this space. Most importantly, it lays the foundation of construct validity for the more comprehensive trust scale of Earned and Expected trust. From a business perspective, findings of this study infer that in order to present as an attractive partner, providers must invest their energy in sharing past performance and track record in order to reduce buyer uncertainty; and must spend considerably more effort in creating confident expectations about how performance and goodwill will be guaranteed going forward. Prioritisation of efforts should be on building the perception among potential buyers of the expertise and integrity of the professionals within the supplier organisation.

© 2009 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Orleow, L 2009, The impact of inter-organisational trust dimensions on first time purchase intent in professional services, MBA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-05072010-120949/ >


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