In a case study of a Chinese crowdsourcing intermediary, we explore the impact of inter-organizational governance on trilateral trust-building. We show that formal control and relational governance mechanisms are essential for swift and knowledge-based trust in R&D crowdsourcing. The case also indicates that Chinese businesses continue to use guanxi (informal personal connections) as a relational and contingent mechanism to maintain affect-based trust, but guanxi is shown to inhibit the growth of Internet-based crowdsourcing for open innovation in China.
- Chinese context
- open innovation