Offshore outsourcing across the world has triggered a new social structure in the way global businesses operate, resulting in emerging virtual social spaces between clients and vendors. These social structures involve understanding of cultural connections over space and time through telecommunication networks, as knowledge intensive tasks are being realized across national boundaries. Clients and vendors belonging to diverse cultures are required to take measures to build trust in relationships for sustained professional success. This paper looks at the trust building practice and experience of four small and medium sized software vendor organizations based in New Zealand and India. The case study data reveals how vendors are sensitized to client apprehensions in sharing knowledge across virtual social spaces. Some practices identified are face-to-face communication to bring visibility of social cue codes, documentation as a common thread of control, international accreditations to build reputations, and use of integrated groupware solutions with privileges for both clients and vendors. A ‘trust curve’ model is proposed to show the trust building process taking visibility factors as determinants of trust.
Mathrani, Anuradha; Goel, Geetika; and Parsons, David, "Building Trust Across Virtual Social Spaces: the Software Vendors’ Perspectives" (2007). ACIS 2007 Proceedings. Paper 17.