A framework for trust in construction contracting

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-829
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008


How trust establishes and sustains relationship has been widely studied in the fields of social science, economics, business and management. It has been suggested that trust helps to reinforce individuals' affirmative willingness, confidence, expectation, belief, behavior and to overcome risk/uncertainty. However, trust building has been considered as impossibility due to the divergent interests of the contracting parties. As such, implementing trust in construction contracting has gained limited progress. This study aims to first conceptualize trust in construction by categorizing trust types according to their development bases. Based on a review on previous studies on trust, three major types of trust are identified; system-based, cognition-based and affect-based. To enhance trust-building, these trust conceptions were further reduced to trusting behaviors. In this respect, a trust framework in construction contracting was developed and tested empirically by the technique of structural equation modeling. The correlations of these three forms of trust in construction contracting are significant and close, with the coefficients of 0.99, 0.97 and 0.94 for cognition-based, system-based and affect-based, respectively. These support the statistical fit of the proposed trust framework in construction contracting. The empirical results suggested that all three forms are of almost equal importance in trust building. This reinforces the conventional wise down that trust building is easy to say than do. The three facets of trust co-exist and in factual are mutually dependent. A system is only as good as its weakest point, hence a trust building project manager must be able to install robust system, care for the stakeholders and team members. The trust framework thus enhances our outstanding how trust building can be practiced in construction contracting. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA.

Research Area(s)

  • Affect-based, Cognition-based, Structural equation modeling, System-based

Citation Format(s)

A framework for trust in construction contracting. / Wong, Wei Kei; Cheung, Sai On; Yiu, Tak Wing et al.

In: International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 26, No. 8, 11.2008, p. 821-829.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review