The contract, accounting and trust: A case study of an international joint venture (IJV) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

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Authors: Tsamenyi, M., Qureshi, A.Z. and Yazdifar, H.

Journal: Accounting Forum

Volume: 37

Issue: 3

Pages: 182-195

eISSN: 1467-6303

ISSN: 0155-9982

DOI: 10.1016/j.accfor.2012.09.004

This paper reports on the results of a case study that examines the effect of the contract and accounting on inter-organisational trust in an international joint venture (IJV). The empirical setting of the research was an IJV relation between a United Arab Emirates (UAE) firm and its western partner. Data were gathered from multiple sources, including documents, observations, interviews and discussions with managers. The paper aims to explore the process of trust development and the role of the contract and accounting in this. We find that trust developed differently for the partners. Moreover the trust concerns of the partners were not the same. Based on this we conclude that trust was not automatically reciprocated. Instead it needs relating to other items such as the contract, accounting and also the institutional environment. The open-book accounting we observed could only be termed 'partial' because the western partner had access to the local partner's books but not the vice versa. But this partial open-book accounting created conflicts between the partners. We argue that developing one kind of trust through one particular medium may help one party but may damage the relationship between the partners. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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