The nature, antecedents, and consequences of joint venture trust

Andrew C. Inkpen, Steven C. Currall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Although trust has been identified as a critical factor in alliance management, rigorous conceptual and empirical developments of alliance trust have remained elusive. Our objective in this paper is to develop a conceptual understanding of joint venture (JV) trust. First, we define JV trust as reliance on another JV party (i.e., person, group, or firm) under a condition of risk. Reliance is volitional action by one party that allows that party's fate to be determined by the other party. Risk means that a party would experience potentially negative outcomes from the untrustworthiness of the other party. Thus, under a condition of risk, a JV partner's trust is signified by action that puts its fate in the hand of the other partner. Second, we review previous literature on trust and JVs and show that trust has been viewed from three different perspectives: structural, social, and psychological. Third, we develop a framework of the antecedents and consequences of JV trust. The factors considered as antecedents are: prior cooperative relationships, habitualization, individual attachment, organizational fit, and assessment of partner competence. Proposed consequences or outcomes of JV trust include forbearance, governance structures, relationship investments, increases in JV scope, and JV performance. From this framework, we identify various theoretical and methodological implications, and propose a research agenda.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of International Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1998


  • Alliances
  • Joint ventures
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Finance
  • Strategy and Management


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