Is collaboration a better way to develop trust after opportunism? Distinguishing firm and boundary spanner opportunism

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

12 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-51
Journal / PublicationIndustrial Marketing Management
Online published17 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


Building on equity theory, we integrate trust-repair and response-to-opportunism studies to distinguish individual boundary spanner opportunism from firm opportunism and examine how these two types of opportunism influence the effect of collaboration on post-opportunism trust restoration, a crucial yet challenging context for trust development. We further examine the effect of two alternative strategies to collaboration: tolerance, and aggression on post-opportunism trust restoration. Using 574 confidential reports of senior managers working for 287 industrial buyers, we find that collaboration is the most effective strategy for post-opportunism trust restoration. More importantly, our findings show that although collaboration restores trust under both types of opportunism, it fits better with individual boundary spanner opportunism than with firm opportunism. In comparison, tolerance has a positive effect on trust restoration under boundary spanner opportunism but negatively affects trust under firm opportunism, while aggression hinders trust restoration even more under firm opportunism than it does under individual boundary spanner opportunism.

Research Area(s)

  • Boundary spanner opportunism, Firm opportunism, Collaboration, Aggression, Tolerance, Trust restoration