Arbeitspapier Nr. 45

Relevance of Trust in International Deployment of Employees

Schewe, Gerhard/Nienaber, Ann-Marie/Böge, Laura

Globalization has experienced explosive developments in the past couple of years. In order to maintain a competitive position internationally operating companies have been forced to expand their activities around the world. Consequently, multinational corporations from other powerful economies like the United States of America and Japan are increasingly investing in China. As part of this strategy and in context of global staffing approaches they utilize expatriate managers to establish and control their operations abroad. Correspondingly, a growing number of Chinese workers find themselves in a situation in which they report to and work with superiors from other countries and cultures. Thus, especially in the context of creating multicultural teams a variety of problems can arise and inhibit the success of the multinational enterprises operations abroad. These can especially occur with regard to interactions and the development of relationships between the culturally divergent team members. In this context interpersonal trust plays a vital role. However, the question arising in this context is, whether different cultural backgrounds have a significant impact on the process of trust development between expatriate managers in their role as supervisors and their local employees.