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).
|Title of host publication||Trust-building and boundary-spanning in cross-border management|
|Editors||Michael W. Zhang|
|Place of Publication||New York, NY|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Number of pages||21|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|