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Abstract

The paper considers the relationship between trust and governance structure from a Transaction Cost Economics perspective. The role of trust in the coordinating decisions is variously conceptualized according to the theoretical view adopted by the scholars. The present study adopt the three‐level schema introduced by Williamson (1996) and suggest that determinants of trust may operate both at institutional and governance structure level. The analytical framework depicted maintains that trust may determine a reduction of ex post transaction cost in the adaptation of hybrid structure. As a consequence trust appears to be able to extend the range of existence of the hybrids. The empirical part of the study is dedicated to a case study which illustrates the emerging of conditional trust (Fritz et al., 2008) and the role of trust in the adaptation process.

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