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An exploration of trustworthiness in the Nigerian investment field: perspective of financial advisors and investors

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

The purpose of this study is to explore the process of trust development and its implications for deception in the Nigerian Financial sector. This study rigorously approaches this study by capitalising on influential research streams like the ABI model (Mayer et al., 1995); Strategies of self-presentation (Beckert, 2005); Leap of faith: suspension of doubt and suspicion (Mollering, 2001) to illuminate the thesis argument. This study argues that by understanding the process of trust development through these theoretical lenses, this study provides a much more balanced understanding of trust development and its possible implications for deception.

Qualitative research and thematic data analyses by Braun and Clarke (2006) were undertaken to uncover the social actions and perspectives of financial advisors and investors in the Nigerian Financial sector. The results from the analyses provided valuable insights into understanding the process of trust development in a developing country. Findings from this study suggest financial advisors construct trustworthiness impressions by signalling ability, integrity, benevolence, and preventing relationship harmful behaviour. Interestingly, financial advisors utilise cultural similarity and identity-based trust with their clients to influence trustworthiness perceptions. Findings further revealed that investor’s rationale for trusting financial advisor has to do with competence and regulators within the environment, rather than the advisor themselves. The investors also suggest that they were more concerned about trust in their financial institutions rather than the advisors itself because of the risk of investment they are taking and also because of the context they operate. Operating within a dynamic and uncertain institution and cultural landscape poses a higher risk for the dynamic of financial services relationships.

Findings from this study provide practical and theoretical implications for financial advisors and investors. By understanding the construction of trustworthiness of financial advisors, investors this study extends research on trust by examining the perspective of the trustee towards the realisation the exchange process and by examining the process of trust development in a developing context that is characterised by ethnic fragmentation and a lack of working institutions. Although studying trust in a developing country limits generalisability to Western settings. However, findings from this research can be applicable to countries with similar cultural and institutional structure.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award dateJul 2019

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