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Trust as the antidote to Brexit and COVID-19: Explaining Danish SMEs’ confidence in the future of their British partnerships

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Trust is the pivot of building successful business collaborations and thus also essential in maintaining confidence in the future of trading relationships. Particularly so if they become exposed to game-changing events. This study examines the robustness of trust of Danish SMEs towards their British partners as they continue to battle with the long-term consequences of both a hard Brexit and COVID-19. A dynamic process model of how trust accrues was designed to inform a survey of the CEOs of 193 Danish SMEs that trade with Britain. With the protracted impact of Brexit and Covid, the study gives support to the key role of trust in protecting valued but challenged business relationships. However, the expectation that CEOs’ attentiveness to a business partner’s needs and priorities will eventually become the most salient element of a trusting relationship, as their expertness and truthfulness become taken for granted with time, was not strongly supported.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Globalisation and Small Business
Publication statusSubmitted - 4 Apr 2023

    Research areas

  • Inter-organizational trust, confidence, uncertainty, credibility, SMEs, relationship maintenance, Brexit, Covid

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