According to the literature on technological collaboration, trust between the partners involved plays a major role for the outcome. The current study analyzes trust and attitudes to collaboration in a technology transfer project between two high-technology firms—one located in a developed economy, the other in an emerging economy. Compared with previous research the study has a two major benefits: equal access to participants on both sides; and a longitudinal design which will make it possible to understand the dynamics of trust, attitudes and emergent actions.
This paper presents preliminary findings from the first stage of the transfer project and is based on a survey administered to 93 engineers from both firms. The survey collected data on trust propensity, trustworthiness (competence, integrity and benevolence), image of the other party and personal expectations and analyzed how these factors influence attitudes to collaboration. Preliminary findings confirm that trust propensity, perceived competence and benevolence, image of the other party and personal expectations all have an impact on attitudes to collaboration. Perceived integrity, however, did not show any correlation to attitudes to collaboration, which implies that managers on both sides will need time and effort to demonstrate their capabilities in this area to each other.