The Antecedents and Consequences of a Commercial Customer’s Trust in Their Bank. A new insight in the complex relationship between the dimensions of trust, commitment and satisfaction: a Dutch study

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Purpose: the purpose of this study is to develop and test a measurement instrument of trust in the firm - bank relationship as well as to explore how trust relates to the firm’s satisfaction and commitment. Methodology: the study employs a survey completed by either the firm’s owners or senior managers responsible for the relationship with their bank. The data are analyzed by using Adanco statistical software for variance-based structural equation modeling. Findings: the study reviews how trust is conceptualized in different academic disciplines and contexts and identifies four key characteristics: ‘vulnerability’, ‘risk’, ‘expectancy’ and ‘benevolence’ that are integral to the concept of trust. Within the firm - bank relationship two dimensions of trust, ‘competence’ & ‘integrity’, are identified as measures of the concept trust. In addition, the importance of trust for commitment and satisfaction is found to be unambiguous. The most feasible causal path in the structural equation model is from trust to satisfaction. Research implication: by providing empirical support for a multidimensional trust construct and further specifying the relation between trust and the concepts of commitment and satisfaction within the firm - bank relationships, this study provides a strong foundation for future research. Practical implications: low levels of trust might be enhanced by conducting actions that focus on the bank’s integrity and competence within the firm – bank relationship. This study provides a strong foundation for bank managers to understand how their actions impact the trust-based relationship with firms. Contribution: this study contributes to literature by providing empirical support for a multidimensional trust construct in the firm - bank relationship and further confirming the relationship with commitment and satisfaction. Keywords: Banks, firms, SMEs, Relationships, Trust, Dimensions, Commitment, Satisfaction, Structural Equation Modeling.
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