In contrast to the popularity of network organisational forms as a means of conducting business, there is growing evidence of failure amongst these arrangements. Despite a significant amount of research on the topic, a number of gaps exist in relation to the trust-formal control relationship and the mechanisms by which trust is produced. This paper theoretically examines the trust-formal control nexus, considering both contracts and accounting control mechanisms equally and how these interact with trust mechanisms. In contrast to prior literature which posits a substitutive relationship, the means by which formal controls can both complement and substitute for trust are outlined, with the implications for law, accounting and organisational practitioners identified.
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