This study examines if and how low trust that may exist in cross-sector partnerships (CSPs) between government and business can be overcome in order to allow for more successful partnerships. CSPs have been lauded in the literature as a solution to addressing wicked social problems that are faced in many countries. However, the implementation of these partnerships has been stunted. One of the factors identified as contributing to this is the fact that there is low trust between government and business. This study explores the state of trust between government and business to determine whether in fact there is low trust between these stakeholders. It further considers the factors that influence the state of trust. With this understanding, the study seeks to determine if low trust can be overcome and if so, how. The research also looked at the role of individuals in developing and maintaining high trust. Further, it considered what features need to be present in the environment to have a climate conducive of trust between government and business. Interviews were conducted with nineteen representatives of organisations that have been involved in CSPs in the past 5 years. The main focus of this study was to obtain learning for the business literature in an area that is lacking. Therefore, the sample used for this study included mostly public sector representatives.
The results of this study suggest that were there is low trust between government and business this can be overcome. It further demonstrated that the individuals involved in these CSPs have a critical role in developing high trust between the stakeholders. The findings also demonstrate that there are at least three broad groups of traits including, technical capabilities and behavioural qualities which these individuals need to have in order to be able to build trust between government and business in CSPs. The study also found that the features that are necessary in order to build trust in these CSPs will be dependent on the context in which they occur. A major finding of the study is that it is the responsibility of both government and business to create an environment conducive for in their CSPs.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.