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Ties that blind? How strong ties affect small business owner-managers’ perceived trustworthiness of their advisors

Kautonen, Teemu, Zolin, Roxanne, Kuckertz, Andreas, & Viljamaa, Anmari (2010) Ties that blind? How strong ties affect small business owner-managers’ perceived trustworthiness of their advisors. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 22(2), pp. 189-209.

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Abstract

This research investigates how a strong personal relationship (strong tie) between a small business owner-manager and his professional or informal advisor affects the relationship between the advisor's recent performance and the owner-manager's perceptions of the advisor's trustworthiness in terms of ability, benevolence and integrity. A negative moderating effect could point to a 'tie that blinds': the owner-manager may be less critical in evaluating the advisor's perceived trustworthiness in light of their recent performance, because of the existing personal relationship. A conceptual model is constructed and examined with survey data comprising 153 young Finnish businesses. The results show that strong ties increase the owner-manager's perception of the advisor's integrity, disregarding their recent performance. For professional advisors, strong ties reduce the impact of recent performance in the owner-manager's evaluation of their ability. For informal advisors, a strong tie makes it more likely that their benevolence will be evaluated highly in light of their recent performance. While the results show that 'ties can blind' under certain circumstances, the limitations of the study raise the need for further research to specify these contextual factors and examine the causal link between the choice of advisor and business performance.

Impact and interest:

15 citations in Scopus
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13 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 32033
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Trust, External Expertise, Perceived Trustworthiness, Small Business, Entrepreneur
DOI: 10.1080/08985620903168265
ISSN: 1464-5114
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Small Business Management (150314)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Entrepreneurship (150304)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Deposited On: 29 Apr 2010 11:02
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 00:22

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