Humor, transparency, and the management of distrust among business rivals: a case study of berthing meetings at the Port of Tema in Ghana

Martin Arvad Nicolaisen, Annette Skovsted Hansen*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

42 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article builds on rich empirical data following our unexpected discovery of a local practice to circumvent a stressful
and counterproductive work environment due to distrust at the Port of Tema in Ghana. Using theoretical work on networks,
trust, and humor, as well as extensive ethnographic feldwork, we found that the humorous atmosphere at the regularly
held physical berthing meetings fosters a sense of community, which enables competing professions, private companies,
and public institutions to manage their mutual distrust. In an environment where trust among competitors is unrealistic, we
argue that the objective of the performance of humor and transparency at the physical berthing meetings is the management
of distrust rather than the creation of trust. The meetings have, gradually, grown to serve as a pragmatic local stakeholder
adaptation to the challenges posed by universally perceived politicized, opaque, and corrupt business practices at the Port
of Tema and beyond. In conclusion, we posit that our empirical fndings allow us to identify the potential of and gaps in
theories about trust and humor in understanding the dynamics of coping strategies among competitors in business settings
that are characterized by unethical practices.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer9
TidsskriftMaritime Studies
Vol/bind22
Nummer2
ISSN2212-9790
DOI
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2023

Fingeraftryk

Dyk ned i forskningsemnerne om 'Humor, transparency, and the management of distrust among business rivals: a case study of berthing meetings at the Port of Tema in Ghana'. Sammen danner de et unikt fingeraftryk.

Citationsformater