Every day, billions of people around the globe get up, get dressed and go to work. Why? For many it is a matter of survival. For those who are lucky, what they do for a living enriches them emotionally and psychologically – and is, perhaps, even fun. We might not like every aspect of what we do, but we do it. If we find that the negatives get to be too much, we are likely to look for another job.
What does that have to do with building trust in business, you might ask? A lot.
Our relationship with the companies that we buy products and services from, regulate, invest in, partner with, or work for share some common factors that are important for understanding and building trust in business generally – whether they are domestic favourites or new entrants from further afield. Trust is fundamental to a positive and strong reputation. Trust is won or lost both through long-term relationship building and in actions that occur in a heartbeat.
In this article we explore the notion of trust in business in general, and specifically with respect to cross-cultural business relationships: How do European companies looking to do business in China and Chinese companies looking to do business in Europe build relationships of trust with their stakeholders? What we find is that relationships with stakeholders are governed by many of the same rules as other interpersonal relationships. And like any relationship, how much you put in has a direct correlation with how much you get out.