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Title: An examination of cross-cultural trust development : adopting a 'mosaic theory' perspective of culture
Author: Zolfaghari, Badri
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 2304
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2014
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Trust is an integral feature of human relations, and in turbulent and uncertain times trust serves as a tool that enables organisational members to accept higher levels of risk and increases their willingness to cooperate with each other on a dyadic, group and organisational level. However, the development of trust can be significantly hindered or even obstructed in culturally unfamiliar settings, and between parties who come from different cultural backgrounds. This thesis aims to fill the gap in the literature pertaining to culture’s influence on trust and trust development and the ways in which trust can be formed and enhanced between individuals from different cultural backgrounds. It adopts the ‘mosaic’ conceptualisation of culture in order to overcome the limitations associated with using nationality as a proxy for culture and to address the multiplicity of cultural influences on behaviour. This unravels the etic and emic determinants of culture on trust and its development across cultures. It also accounts for the role of governing contextual factors (i.e. organisational factors and individuals’ cultural intelligence) on this process. Through undertaking a mixed-method approach, data was collected from participants via surveys followed by semi-structured interviews. Data collection took place in Durham, UK, Munich, Germany and Cape Town/Johannesburg, South Africa from individuals operating in various multinational organisations, and across different organisation levels. This method of data collection resulted in rich and detailed accounts of how individuals adopt different cultural identities and how they develop (dis)trust with their counterpart from a different cultural background. Overall, findings from this research confirm the mosaic conceptualisation of culture and reject the use of nationality as proxy for culture. It further reveals that individuals adopt multiple cultural identities in order to display trusting behaviour in the workplace, where some cultural facets (i.e. Family, Organisation and Profession) are more influential on the trust development process than others (i.e. Nationality, Religion, Political Affiliation, etc.). Trust development is enhanced when dyads share cultural values and is hindered when they encounter conflicting values, and is moderated by their level of cultural intelligence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available