Do sales people trust new customers because of who they are?

Piotr Gaczek , Grzegorz Leszczyński , Marek Zieliński


Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify the interplay between the characteristics of trustee and trustor in trust formation at the initial stage of a relationship in the B2B context. Design/methodology/approach The study was experimental. A situation was simulated in which sales managers choose prospective customers on whom his or her company should concentrate after entering the new market. A total of 108 managers participated in the study. Findings The results indicate that during the pre-relationship stage salespeople declared trust toward a prospective customer despite having no previous interactions with the other party. Salespeople start the trust-development process by gathering clues about the trustworthiness of the potential partner organization. The cognitive information provided to salespeople impacts interpersonal trust to a greater extent than effective communication. This influence is moderated by trustor trust propensity. There is no difference in the type of information about a trustor when it comes to organizational reliance. Originality/value This paper provides a new insight into research on trust in interorganizational relationships as the authors adopted the perspective of the supplier who is most frequently perceived as a trustee, rather than a trustor. It directs attention to the pre-relationship stage, which precedes the interaction that may lead to a relationship developing but also links the object of trust (trustee) with the subject of trust (trustor) and integrates two separate approaches to the ascendance of trust with its multi-dimensional and multi-level nature. Moreover, an experimental design that is rare in research on business relationships was implemented.
Author Piotr Gaczek (UEP)
Piotr Gaczek,,
- Poznań University of Economics and Business
, Grzegorz Leszczyński (WZ / KSM)
Grzegorz Leszczyński,,
- Department of Marketing Strategies
, Marek Zieliński (WZ / KSM)
Marek Zieliński,,
- Department of Marketing Strategies
Journal seriesIMP Journal, ISSN 2059-1403, e-ISSN 0809-7259, (0 pkt, indicated Indexes)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets1
Keywords in English Business-to-business interactions, Initial trust, Trustee characteristics, Trustor propensity to trust
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)15
Score sourcejournalIndex
ScoreMinisterial score = 15.0, 08-04-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0
Citation count*1 (2020-10-23)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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