Shared trust in small industrial countries – an evaluation from New Zealand
Nordic research has recently claimed that small industrial countries are advantaged by the presence of shared trust. In essence, shared trust means that the default relationship between businesses is cooperative. Nordic economic success suggests that shared trust has promoted collective learning and innovation within industries. An investigation in New Zealand raises doubts that shared trust exists in this small industrial country. Three interpretations are discussed to explain the contrast with Nordic experience: (i) trust is overstated as a stimulus to development; (ii) Nordic evidence of shared trust is incomplete; (iii) contingent conditions for shared trust are missing in New Zealand.