Trust and Innovation: from Spin-Off Idea to Stock Exchange


Marko Kohtamäki is a researcher on the project ‘Entrepreneurship in network economy’ at the Department of Management in Vaasa. He takes special interest in network governance, trust and entrepreneurship. His main research activities concern research on governance of strategic networks, trust and new business creation. E-mail:

Tauno Kekäle has a PhD in the field of quality management from the University of Vaasa (1998). He is currently holding a professorship in Industrial Management in the Faculty of Technology of the University of Vaasa, and his current research orientation is in new product development management, especially from an organizational-culture viewpoint. E-mail:

Riitta Viitala's PhD thesis is also from the University of Vaasa (2003). She holds a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Department of Management. She also regularly gives lectures and consults on the management of major Finnish companies. Her research interests include leadership and management of knowledge, among others. E-mail: riitta.viitala@uwasa.fi0


Trust among entrepreneurs, their co-workers and between the entrepreneurs and their business partners plays a key role in the early stages of formation of a new company. In this piece of research, trust is defined as a belief consisting of eight trusting beliefs, emphasising the rational consideration between these beliefs and other situational factors. The concept of trust is developed through objects, mechanisms and antecedents. The present paper is an empirical exploration of these phenomena in the context of innovativeness in a high-tech company. The goal is to describe the role, content and impact of trust at the different stages of a business evolution process.