Original Research

Antecedents of trust among buyer and seller within the South African automotive supply chains

Aletta S. Tolmay
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 13 | a414 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v13i0.414 | © 2019 Aletta S. Tolmay | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 August 2018 | Published: 28 March 2019

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Aletta S. Tolmay, Department of Operations Management, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

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Background: Positive supplier relationships result in trust and eventually sustainability. However, the opposite seems to be true in the South African automotive supply chain relationships that are characterised by conflict. Literature states that in the absence of trust, sustainability is compromised. The problem pertains to the erosion of trust because of conflict between suppliers in the South African automotive supply chains.

Objectives: The main purpose of the research was to address the question: What are the antecedents of trust between buyer and seller within the South African automotive supply chains? The primary objective was to determine the value-adding antecedents of trust followed by presenting the antecedent with the strongest correlation towards trust.

Method: The study was explanatory and descriptive by nature to determine relationships between constructs. The empirical research utilised a quantitative census, thus targeting all senior managers representing Tier 1 automotive component suppliers. A deductive approach through a structured close-ended questionnaire tested the managers’ perception on trust. The response rate was 81.4% with 144 participants. After factor analysis, a path analysis was compiled, depicting the antecedents of trust.

Results: The study found that antecedents showing the strongest correlation with trust were the core offering, inclusive of product delivery and quality followed by personal interaction that forms part of the sourcing process.

Conclusion: The research study makes a theoretical contribution by presenting a conceptual structure on trust by depicting its antecedents. Managerial contributions include recommendations on how to enhance trust through a relational governance strategy.


trust; supply chain relationships; buyer-seller relationships; South African automotive industry


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