Davies and Prince / Dynamics of Trust
DYNAMICS OF TRUST BETWEEN CLIENTS
AND THEIR ADVERTISING AGENCIES:
ADVANCES IN PERFORMANCE THEORY
Southern Connecticut State University
Dr Mark Davies is a Senior Lecturer, School of Management and Languages, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland, UK.
Dr Melvin Prince is a Professor of Marketing at the School of Business, Southern Connecticut State University.
Correspondence should be directed to Melvin Prince, Professor of Marketing, Southern Connecticut State University, 501
Crescent Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06515. Email PrinceM1@southernct.edu tel 203-327-2097 or Mark Davies, Senior
Lecturer, School of Management and Languages at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH 14 4AS, United KIngdom, Email
The authors would like to express their appreciation for the comprehensive, insightful, and imaginative comments of the
three anonymous reviewers and the editor, James Gentry and former editor, Joseph A. Cote.
Integrating concepts from the trust literature, this paper reconceptualizes Performance Theory (Davies and Prince
1999) and systematically explains why structural characteristics of advertising agencies (size, age, tie-in age) offer
specific advantages or disadvantages in cultivating trust with their clients.
Two Generic Forms of Trust
The most salient sources of client trust of agency performance involve either agency creativity (Michell, Cataquet,
and Hague 1992) or personal relationships between client and agency personnel (Beard 1996; Wackman, Wack-
man, and Salmon 1986/7). These sources signal agency competence and benevolence jointly as important meas-
ures of trustworthiness. Halinen’s (1997) client-ad agency model of trust centers on focal relationship
experiences, referred to as specific trust. However, general trust based on indirect communications (e.g., through
consultants) and client knowledge of agency reputation has been neglect