1st Edition

Trust Building and Boundary Spanning in Cross-Border Management

Edited By Michael Zhang Copyright 2018
    252 Pages
    by Routledge

    252 Pages
    by Routledge

    This edited book addresses two critical issues in international management: building trust and managing boundary spanning activities between international business partners. The duel-process of internationalization of multinational corporations (MNCs), through globalisation and regionalisation, has helped MNCs to increase their market expansion and improve the capabilities of innovation and learning. By creating various forms of international strategic alliances (ISAs), MNCs have become structurally more complex and geographically more dispersed. As a result, MNCs in general and ISAs in particular face the challenges of discerning blurred organisational boundaries, reconfiguring the control mechanisms, integrating diversified resources, and coordinating distributed activities in time and space.

    Research in organisation behaviour indicates that boundary spanners play critical yet unspecified roles and functions in managing cross-boundary relationships. A core boundary spanning function is to build trust relationships. When organisations engage in business transactions, members of the organisations are concerned with not only the outcomes of economic transactions but also the processes of social exchanges. Boundary spanners may succeed in building interpersonal trust in a partnership, nonetheless their effort may not lead to inter-partner trust without an effective implementation of the institutionalisation process. Whereas trustworthiness is the antecedent to trust providing the basis for trust to develop, distrust manifests itself as a separate and linked concept to trust. These dynamic features of trust, trustworthiness, and distrust are critically elaborated.

    Trust Building and Boundary Spanning in Cross-Border Management is dedicated to explicating these under-researched themes and contributing to the emerging streams of research in micro foundations and micro-structural approaches. It illustrates the latest research on the topic and will be of interest to both students at an advanced level, academics and reflective practitioners in the fields of organisational behaviour and theory, strategic management, international strategy and strategic alliances.

    Chapter 1

    Introduction: Trust-building and Boundary-spanning in Cross-border Management

    Michael Zhang

    Part I Conceptual Development

    Chapter 2

    Trust and Distrust – The Microstructural Ties Connecting Cross-border Inter-partner Relationships

    Michael Zhang

    Chapter 3

    Boundary Spanning in ISAs: A Trust Perspective

    Michael Zhang and Paul Gooderham

    Part II Trust building through boundary spanning

    Chapter 4

    Trust-building and Boundary-spanning in Global Collaborations

    Thomas Tøth and Anne-Marie Søderberg

    Chapter 5

    Personal Attachment of Boundary Spanners in ISAs: A Two-sided Coin

    Franziska Engelhard and Robin Pesch

    Chapter 6

    Building Trust across International Boundaries: The Founder’s Role in Consulting Firm’s Early Development

    Murray Taylor, Jarryd Daymond and James Willard

    Chapter 7

    Trust in Global Value Chains and the Role of Intermediaries

    Alessandro Perri and Nancy Buchan

    Part III Boundary Spanning from a trust perspective

    Chapter 8

    Micro-foundation Thinking in Alliance Learning: Role of Boundary Spanners’ Theory of Mind

    Xinlu Qiu and Sven Haugland


    Chapter 9

    Restoring Trust through Isomorphism at MFIs: Trustworthiness and Boundary Permeability

    Robert Swalef and Michael Zhang

    Chapter 10

    Spanning the Boundary of Organisations: A Systematic Review of the Inter-Organisational Boundary Spanning Literature

    Ryan Tang, Xinlu Qiu and Michael Zhang

    Chapter 11

    Concluding Summary: Linking Micro-structural Approach with Systems Theory

    Michael Zhang


    Michael Wei Zhang is a Reader in International Strategy in the Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University, UK.