www.jhrm.de/en › TRIM study › Intercultural Trust

In daily business life, managers refer to 60 different trust factors.

The results of the TRIM study sho which trust factors are relevant and how they might lead, in intercultural collaboration to cultural ‘misunderstandings of trust’.

How to know when we are justified in trusting someone

Intercultural trust

Trust facilitates management because it allows us to abstain from controlling measures. This enables certain courses of action which otherwise would just not be imaginable. Management just can be much easier if we can rely on trusting relationship – that’s why trust often is called a ‘lubricant’ of social relationships.

But any trusting behaviour entails some kind of risk: It is in the nature of trust that if I trust someone, this trustee can act to my disadvantage. Of course, this is what I would like to avoid. However, I could only avoid such breach of trust by 100% if I never trusted anyone. But then I would have to abstain from any positive advantages of trusting relationships, too. That’s the classical ‘dilemma of trust’.

In order to remain capable of acting, manager need to assess successfully whether and to what extent they can trust colleagues or business partners. They do so by help of so-called ‘trust factors’. But dealing with those trust factors, they face important cultural differences.

The top-3 trust factors

1. Showing respect or interest for me

Does the other one behave respectfully / politely? Does he take me seriously? Is he appreciative / understanding as for my situation?

2. Not pretending anything

Does the other one tell the truth? Hasn't he got a hidden agenda? Doesn't he deceive me? Doesn't he pretend that everything is fine with is product/service, if actually there are risks, deficiencies or problems?

3. Keeping promises or agreements

Does the other on keep his promises / our agreements? Does he keep his word? Does he play by the rules that we have adopted?