My experience at FINT conference: HPC Supply Chain Lab researcher Henry Wu describes his FINT experience

My experience at FINT conference... 

I was honoured to attend the FINT conference 2019 with academic researchers and practitioners who have contributed to or shown an interest in ‘trust within and between organisations’. We all know that trust is a critical element to successful business relationships. Recently, scholarly, government, and industry interests have focused on building and (re)building trust in different contexts. 

At the conference, I had an opportunity to explore interesting, contemporary, and practical issues with researchers and industry partners around the world. In a keynote speech, Professor Gillespie presented six overarching strategies inspired by research to repair the public trust towards financial institutions (after rogue trader and LIBOR). With an extensive discussion with panellists, Gabe Varges (former head of Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority) and Felix Wenger (senior manager in sales and distribution channels in UBS and Raiffeisen Switzerland), it revealed intricate difficulties to put practical implications from research into practice and possible ways to overcome those barriers. Another keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Daccord (Director of the International Committee of the Red Cross) and Professor Wheeler. The former demonstrated how swift trust can be strategically and practically established among supply chain partners and governments that enables efficient humanitarian aid while the latter stressed the importance of personal trust between leaders (national leaders in his focus but applicable to other contexts) on resolving national conflicts and reaching critical agreements. Furthermore, one stream of the trust research dealt with how corporations, firms operating in controversial industries in particular, repair their stakeholders’ trust (e.g. BP’s Deepwater Spill). I also had chance to present my research on trust violation and repair in buyer-supplier relationships in front of eminent scholars in this field. I received a very positive feedback on the overall presentation of complex datasets and clear managerial implications.

Overall, the speeches and research presentations at the conference had significant implications for supply chain researchers and practitioners. There are three key takeaways from the conference. First, trust between supply chain partners is an important asset, especially between senior management. However, trust should be dynamically monitored and adjusted over time as too much trust may result in inertia, complacency, and unrealistically positive expectations while too little trust may lead to excessive investments on safeguard, a loss of tacit knowledge, and underestimation of partner capabilities. Second, violated trust can be repaired with a repertoire of extensive practices available. Last, the level of trust differs between stakeholders in which some stakeholders’ trust reinforces each other while some contradicts. It should be specifically identified and carefully managed.

In partnership with: