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Managing trust in direct selling relationships
Marketing Intelligence & Planning
  • Shing Chung, Patrick POON, Lingnan University, Hong Kong
  • Gerald ALBAUM, University of New Mexico, USA
  • Shiu Fai, Peter CHAN, The Open University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
Emerald Publishing Limited
  • Hong Kong,
  • Trust,
  • buyer-seller relationships,
  • direct selling,
  • non-store retailing

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate trust in salespersons of direct selling companies. The major purpose of the study is to examine three alternative measures of trust and to assess the effects of consumer trust in the direct selling salesperson on intended purchase behavior in a non-Western culture, Hong Kong. Design/methodology/approach – The research was designed as a personal interview survey of purchasers and non-purchasers of product from direct selling companies in Hong Kong. A street-intercept method of personal interview was used in three major shopping areas. The major measurement was of three different measures of trust in buying behavior from direct selling companies. Findings – Survey results show that the measures of trust are not equally significant in being related to intention to repurchase. Only one measure, “Affect Trust”, is statistically correlated to repurchase intention. This measure is based on emotions which are affective in nature. Originality/value – Gaining trust is crucial to all salespeople, industrial and consumer alike, as trust facilitates an exchange relationship while mistrust hinders it. Consequently, having valid measures of trust is essential to ensuring that exchange relations are positive. The research to date has been in the context of Western cultures and is dated (ten or more years ago). The paper examines trust in a non-Western culture. In addition, the sales relationships studied in the past have been non-direct selling. The paper expands this domain as it looks at direct selling to consumers in a non-fixed business location.

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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Citation Information
Poon, S. P., Albaum, G., & Chan, P. S. F. (2012). Managing trust in direct selling relationships. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 30(5), 588-603. doi: 10.1108/02634501211251070