Building trust across international boundaries: the founder’s role in consulting firm’s early development

Murray Taylor, Jarryd Daymond, James Willard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Early-stage consulting firms face a unique challenge of maintaining strong, trusting relationships with their clients while they internationalise their services. This study explores how these firms develop trust across international boundaries and the unique role of their founders in developing trust with their clients. Semi-structured interviews with the founders of the five consulting firms were used to collect data for the study. The study shows that while trust-building commences at an individual-level between the founder and the client, it then rises to group-level when consulting firms engage in risk-taking collaborative actions. These risk-taking actions include increasing their number of employees and internationalising into new markets where clients demand their presence. A conceptual trust-building spiral consolidates these exploratory findings by drawing together Vangen and Huxham’s (2003) cyclical trust-building loop and the notion of developing trust across individual, group and organisational levels (Currall and Inkpen 2002).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrust-building and boundary-spanning in cross-border management
EditorsMichael W. Zhang
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781315229355
ISBN (Print)9780415347563
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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