The Relationship between trust and control in international joint ventures

evidence from the airline industry

David Emsley, Filip Kidon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the relationship between trust and control in managing organizational uncertainties, focusing on the significant role that the management accounting system can play in this relationship. While previous studies have often treated trust as part of the control system, this paper differentiates trust from control. However, the two remain closely related because information from the control system can also be used to assess levels of trust. Specifically, the paper examines the role that information from three types of control (output, behavioral, and social) plays in determining two types of trust (competency and goodwill). Competency trust and goodwill trust are examined at the operational and executive levels, respectively, and in terms of information that builds as well as destroys trust. The findings from a case study of a joint venture between two international airlines indicate that controls produce information that reinforces competency trust at an operational level, but leaves goodwill trust at an executive level relatively vulnerable to a betrayal of goodwill trust. The implications for the design of management accounting systems are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-858
Number of pages30
JournalContemporary Accounting Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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