Global Connection Chronicles: Building Bridges, Not Walls. - Exploring Business Sweden's Dynamic International Relationships in The African Market in terms of Trust, Commitment, Communication, and Culture.
Abstract: As the world continues to globalize at a fast pace, the trust, commitment, and communication that are the foundations of successful business-to-business (B2B) relationships may change. Especially in today's world of competing worldviews and increasing intergroup tensions, how do businesses strike this fine balance? Globalization accelerates and changes commercial ties, overlapping linguistic and cultural barriers, social tradition, etc. This study explores trust, commitment, communication, and culture in international B2B interactions, focusing on Business Sweden and its Swedish clients in South Africa and Kenya. The goal of this study is to understand how these factors help create, develop and dissolve international B2B relationships. To address the subsequent inquiries, this research employs a qualitative approach and conducts a case study on Business Sweden. Seven semi-structured interviews and two critical incident techniques were used to collect data from Business Sweden employees in Kenya and South Africa and affiliated Swedish clients. The findings have shown that business ties in South Africa and Kenya are deep and time-consuming, unlike Sweden's formal approach. In this research it is indicated that in South Africa and Kenya, personal relationships are more significant than professional ones, emphasizing the importance of emotions. Additionally, the research finds risk and time as important factors that determine trust, communication, and commitment. Moreover, the following study shows that communication is seen as crucial to successful collaborations. In addition, cultural awareness and understanding has shown to be more essential than trust. This thesis examines the delicate balance needed to succeed in cross-cultural contexts and encourages businesses to see culture as a support system.
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