The role of trust in relationship development and performance improvement
The importance of inter-organizational trust to project success has been increasingly highlighted in the construction industry. This study aims to explore the role of trust between project parties. It adopts a combination of quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Based on the analysis of the responses of a questionnaire survey, trust is demonstrated to have a significant contribution to the development of cooperative or collaborative relationships; fostering trust proves to have a major influence on the improvement of project performance; and some relationship and performance indicators are found to have closer associations with trust than others so that trust is more important to the development of relationship and the improvement of performance in these aspects. The analysis of questionnaire responses also provides significant evidence for the reduction in monitoring and control following the increase of mutual trust. The questionnaire survey is followed by a series of expert interviews, both of which contribute to the establishment of a model that links trust with relationship and performance and distinguishes the new approach that is based on trust from the traditional mechanism that relies on monitoring and control.