Trust in project relationships—inside the black box
Published on Apr 1, 2004in International Journal of Project Management
· DOI :10.1016/S0263-7863(03)00031-0
Using the general theory of trust in inter-organisational relations, this paper discusses factors that influence development of trust and co-operation in clientcontractor relationships in construction projects. Formal contractual rules are found to bring about and legitimise behaviours and strategies at odds with common-sense perceptions as to how trustworthy and co-operative exchange partners should act. Contractual incentives and close monitoring of contractor performance may induce opportunism and start vicious circles, and it is argued that a higher level of trust would improve project performance. Partnering practices are found to have considerable potential in influencing the antecedents of trust and creative teamwork.