The leap of faith : creating trust on professional service markets

University dissertation from Stockholm : Stockholm School of Economics

Abstract: As freelancers and consultants become more common, this is a question asked with increasing frequency, not least in professional services. Similarly, organizations increasingly face the dilemma of having to find and choose a suitable service provider. Given the often uncertain and complex nature of knowledge-intensive services, this is to a large extent a matter of being able to create trust – for the buyer to dare the leap of faith, for the seller to entice the buyer to trust them with a project.This thesis studies the question of trust creation on two markets: management consulting and theatre direction, discussing the significance of social context on the opportunities for trust creation By dividing the social context into three interrelated arenas, the market level, the organizational level, and the interindividual level, it becomes possible to distinguish how and where trust is created, unveiling how and on what basis decisions are made. The study thereby provides both an in depth account for how management consultants and theatre directions are chosen, and a contribution to research on professional service markets, highlighting the impact of the visibility of the service in question on the mechanisms of the market.Lovisa Näslund is a researcher at the Department of Management and Organization at the Stockholm School of Economics. She combines her research on knowledge intensive work in business and the arts with teaching service marketing and consulting projects in Swedish film and theater. Previously, she has worked as a production assistant at Teater Brunnsgatan Fyra and Teater Tribunalen in Stockholm.