Auto parts suppliers have long been a source of trust and trustworthiness.

Now, a study finds that their trustworthiness is even more pronounced when they’re owned by large multinationals. 

In a paper published in the Journal of Business Ethics, researchers found that trustworthiness among large auto parts suppliers was highly correlated with the size of their market share.

That suggests that larger companies are more likely to rely on suppliers that are more trustworthy.

“The larger the supplier, the more trust they will have in their brand,” says Paul D’Aleo, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan who led the study.

“If it’s a big company like Ford, it will have a much higher trust in its suppliers than a smaller company.”

D’Angelo found that the more reliable a supplier was, the less likely it was to be bought by a larger company.

The study used data from more than 2,000 suppliers across a range of sectors, from auto parts to healthcare.

It then compared the trustworthiness of these suppliers with the trust of a representative sample of 3,000 Americans, who had no prior affiliation with a major auto parts supplier.

D’Angelo and his colleagues then looked at how well a supplier’s trustworthiness correlated with a survey of more than 11,000 people in which they were asked questions about their trust in the suppliers’ business practices.

Those who were most trustworthy in their business dealings with their suppliers were also the most likely to purchase their new cars. 

“We found that when a company has an established brand and is willing to invest in its brand and its products, they are more trusted than when they are just a small company with no financial incentive to invest,” D’angelo says.

For instance, the trust between a company’s trust fund and its supplier network was high when the trust fund’s investment in the company was much greater than the trust network’s.

D’Amore says the study demonstrates the need for more transparency in the way companies are structured to increase trust.

He also says that trust can be a useful indicator of trustworthiness because it indicates how much money an individual has invested in the trust.

That could be a good indicator of the reliability of a product.

As companies seek to gain more control over the supply chain, trustworthiness can be of great importance.

Dallin Hochberg, a professor at Stanford Law School, says the findings could be used to inform decisions about how to buy and sell parts to large companies. 

D’Amores research was funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation.

Source: The New York Times

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