Accounting, contracts and trust in supply relationships

Suresh Cuganesan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose The paper investigates the operation of the trust-formal control dynamic in collaborative supply relationships. Design/methodology/approach A case study of an Australian metal manufacturer (IronBiz) and its collaborative supply relationships is conducted. Findings Relationships between formal controls (comprising accounting controls and contracts) and trust are developed based on the empirical observations from the case study conducted and prior literature. Research limitations/implications The main limitations of the paper include: an empirical examination of the buyer organisation only in dyadic supply relationships; the limited generalisability associated with the methodology and field site chosen. Originality/value In contrast to the continued popularity of collaborative arrangements as a form of organisation, gaps in the literature still exist as to the dynamics of trust creation and the relationship between trust and formal controls. This paper focuses on the trust-formal control dynamic, with an emphasis on how trust is generated and sustained in supply relationships and the role of formal controls in this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-125
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Accounting & Organizational Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2007


  • Accounting
  • Contracts
  • Supplier relations
  • Trust


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