Trust and reciprocity in building inter-personal and inter-organizational commitment in small business co-operatives

Ossi Pesämaa, Torsten Pieper, Rui da Silva Vinhas, William C Black, Joseph Franklin Hair Jr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Local co-operative networks are autonomous volunteer united entities that perform a number of economic and social functions in order to sustain. Many of these functions are volunteer efforts such as preparing logotypes, shared marketing, joint sales, and building competencies that a member cannot offer independently. A number of theoretical constructs explain co-operative members' likelihood to overcome the dilemma of having to focus on short-term, immediate survival and at the same time pursue longer-term, shared objectives. Trust and reciprocity are typically present with differing degrees of intensity in co-operative arrangements. Trust is the ability to respond to perceived uncertainties in order to cope with risk while reciprocity is the norm of give and take in exchanges. With these concepts in mind, the objective of this paper is to examine inter-personal and inter-organizational commitment in the context of small business co-operatives, underscoring the roles of trust and reciprocity as precursors to commitment, as well as ultimate guarantors of inter-firm cooperation in a small-business co-operative environment. The proposed theoretical model is tested using structural equation modeling on a sample of small businesses from the tourist industry. The findings provide implications regarding the roles of trust and reciprocity in building inter-firm relational commitment.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Co-operative Organization and Management
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)81-92
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 04.12.2013
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


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