Trust Theory and Customer Services Research: Theoretical Review and Synthesis

Neve Isaeva, Kira Gruenewald, Mark Saunders

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Research has revealed service industries’ benefits from customer trust including positive effects on commitment, loyalty, sales effectiveness, and collaborative, cooperative, and successful exchange relationships. Yet, despite the relevance of customer trust, gaps remain in our understanding regarding its implications and effective management. Commencing with a consideration of the theoretical foundations of trust, this theoretical review paper highlights the key trust theories synthesising service industries and management literatures on trust, its levels, development, violations and repair. Drawing on this, recommendations are offered for scholars regarding future research, and for service firms and their representatives regarding enabling customer trust.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1031-1063
Number of pages33
JournalThe Services Industries Journal
Issue number15-16
Early online date23 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2020


  • trust; customer trust; trust levels; trust development; trust violations; trust repair; service firms; service industries


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