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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1395732
 
 

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Being There: Firsthand Experience and Perceived Reflected Knowledge in Engendering Trust in Global Collaboration


Mark Mortensen


INSEAD - Organisational Behaviour

Tsedal Neeley


Harvard Business School

April 27, 2009

MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4735-09
Harvard Business School Organizational Behavior Unit Working Paper No. 09-131

Abstract:     
While scholars contend that firsthand experience - time spent onsite observing the people, places, and norms of a distant locale - is crucial in globally distributed collaboration, how such experience actually affects interpersonal dynamics is poorly understood. Based on 47 semistructured interviews and 140 survey responses in a global chemical company, this paper explores the effects of firsthand experience on intersite trust. We find firsthand experience leads not just to direct knowledge of the other, but also knowledge of the self as seen through the eyes of the other - what we call “reflected knowledge”. Reflected and direct knowledge, in turn, affect trust through identification, adaptation, and reduced misunderstandings.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 65

Keywords: trust, global collaboration, reflected knowledge

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Date posted: May 1, 2009 ; Last revised: March 14, 2010

Suggested Citation

Mortensen, Mark and Neeley, Tsedal, Being There: Firsthand Experience and Perceived Reflected Knowledge in Engendering Trust in Global Collaboration (April 27, 2009). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4735-09; Harvard Business School Organizational Behavior Unit Working Paper No. 09-131. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1395732 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1395732

Contact Information

Mark Mortensen (Contact Author)
INSEAD - Organisational Behaviour ( email )
Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France
Tsedal Neeley
Harvard Business School ( email )
Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States
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