Trust as basis for development of relationship between professional service providers and their clients

Bagdonienė, Liudmila; Jakštaitė, Rasa. Trust as basis for development of relationship between professional service providers and their clients // Ekonomika ir vadyba – 2009 = Economics and management – 2009 : tarptautinės mokslinės konferencijos programa ir santraukų rinkinys / Kauno technologijos universitetas. Ekonomikos ir vadybos fakultetas, Kaliningrado valstybinis technikos universitetas. Ekonomikos fakultetas, Rygos technikos universitetas. Inžinerinės ekonomikos fakultetas. Kaunas : Technologija, 2009. ISBN 9789955256625. p. 82-83.


Knowledge managed by professional service providers helps companies to create competitive products and / or services (Gao et al., 2008). Professional services are customized, related to the risk as they often have delayed and difficult to predictable consequences; as well as focused on the customer problem, requiring a high competence of service provider (Thakor & Kumar, 2000; Mills, 1999; etc.).
Professional services belong to the group of knowledge intensive business services (Miles et al., 1995; Toivonen, 2004; Stahlecker & Koch, 2004; Muller & Doloreux, 2007, Koch & Strotmann, 2004, 2005, Simm & Strambach, 2006; Thomas & Bohn, 2003; etc.); although they are provided using the latest technology, the key performance still falls on human resources, specifically on competence, experience, insight, creativity, and etc. Without professional services, innovation is almost impossible, because providers of these services are experts in critical (unusual) business situations; therefore different from corporate executives and its professionals, they can help to find and to implement innovative solutions (Löwendahl, 2005).
During professional service provision, mutual learning process between these service providers and their clients is established when knowledge of both sides is combined, new explicit and tacit knowledge is created, and dissemination of knowledge is performed (Koch & Strotmann, 2004; Stahlecker & Koch, 2004). According to Gebert et al. (2003), in process of collaboration between professional service providers and their clients, knowledge for clients, knowledge about clients and knowledge from clients are circulated.
In most cases, the knowledge, information and data available to service provider are confidential, thus trust in the service provider is necessary for provision of these services (Christopher et al., 2002; Morgan & Hunt, 1994; Liljander & Roos, 2002, Sharma & Pattersson, 1999). Patton & Jösang (2004) maintain that trust may be considered as catalyst for human collaboration. Moreover, trust in service provider determines if client maintains relations with service provider in the future (Doney & Cannon, 1997) and what is the value of the relationship (Gounaris, 2005). According to Christopher et al. (2002), trust is influenced by common values, effective communication, and fairness.
Until now, scientists paid more attention to investigation of trust between standard products sellers and buyers. In other words, they disregard to the influence of specifics of the product on trust. Professional services distinguish by its distinguishing features (secret or confidential information, unprecedented situations, the need to objectively assess the situation, and etc.), which, in our opinion, have influence on the formation of trust, and this – the development of the relationship.
The aim of the paper is to highlight the characteristics of professional services and the influence of trust on the development of relationship between service providers and their clients.
The following methods of the research have been used: analysis of scientific literature, methods of comparing, analogy and generalization.
Findings: the paper provides the concept of professional services, nature of trust and it’s determining factors; shows how trust affects the development of relationship between professional service providers and their clients.

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