The role of trust on the performance of strategic alliances in a cross-cultural context: A study of the UAE

Yasir Yasin Fadol, Maqsood Ahmad Sandhu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the role of trust in the relationships and long-term commitment between partners in strategic alliances. A framework is developed for better understanding the role of trust in the performance of strategic alliances in a cross-cultural context. Design/methodology/approach: The empirical findings of this study are gathered from structured and unstructured interviews with some key actors involved in the process of forming strategic alliances in their own organizations; a case study of the oil industry in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which illustrates this is analysed. Qualitative analysis is conducted to assess the role of trust in this cross-cultural context. Findings: It was noted that building trust between partners helped to avoid bureaucratic obstructions and enhanced the decision making process in the UAE. It was found that trust helped partners to exchange resources faster, devote more funds to the venture and exchange knowledge and information smoothly. The results clearly show that trust plays an important role in building well-functioning relationships in the oil and gas industry. Research limitations/implications: This study is limited to the UAE and can be generalized to other similar cultural contexts only to a certain extent. Future research should consider the same parameters in order to fully generalize the results to other industries. Practical implications: The paper presents a case study of the nature and characteristics of partners in the oil and gas industry, which may be applied to other similar industries. It is hoped that presenting practical tools for understanding the function of trust in strategic alliance performance may be useful. Originality/value: This framework makes two major contributions; first, it explores a subject which has been under-researched in the literature, that is, the issue of trust between partners of strategic alliances in a developing context; and, second, it leads to a set of recommendations and benchmarks the practitioners in the UAE and similar contexts to help them increase the trust between partners in strategic alliances.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)106-128
    Number of pages23
    JournalBenchmarking
    Volume20
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2013

    Keywords

    • Benchmarking
    • Commitment
    • Culture
    • Oil and gas industry
    • Performance
    • Strategic alliances
    • Trust
    • United Arab Emirates

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Business and International Management
    • Strategy and Management

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