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The Types of Trust in the Development Process of the International Business Relationships: An Exploratory Study among Polish Companies



Objective: To explore in a pilot study which types of trust may be particularly important at different stages of the development of international business relationships.
Research Design & Methods: The article presents results of qualitative research in the form of 27 interviews with representatives of top management of companies located in Poland and operating in foreign markets.
Findings: Based on the interviews, the authors identified three stages of international relationship development, which are important in the context of trust. The article suggests which types of trust that exist in business relationships are the most important at the identified stages and should be developed by a trustee. It also stresses the sources of trust from a trustor angle.
Implications & Recommendations: The article presents implications for companies trying to build trust in relationships with foreign counterparts. It stresses the types of trust which should be of a special interest at various stages of the relationship development, as well as gives some hints as to possible trust-building actions.
Contribution & Value Added: First of all, the research concentrates on the development of the international business relationships, which are proven to have a considerable impact on company’s success in foreign markets, yet are more difficult to study and identify compared to domestic relationships. Secondly, it brings attention to specific types of trust which should be built at various stages of the international relationship development, if they should bring the expected results.


trust, business relationships, international cooperation, relationship development



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