Discussion: The Importance of Trust in Alliance Building

The importance of trust in all aspects of life is hard to overstate. Imagine a personal relationship in which trust is not present. In personal relationships, trust is usually gained over time, and becomes an unspoken, but essential, constant in successful relationships. This is also true of business relationships, and it is advisable for potential alliance partners to actively employ measures to build and strengthen trust. Negotiating written agreements that clarify the foundations of the relationships is paramount. As an HR professional, it is essential that you understand and practice the concepts underpinning the building of trust in business relationships.


In “How to Build a Framework for Strategic Alliances,” (Santora, 2009), in your Required Resources, the author focuses on the importance of trust in building alliances. On the other hand, in “Why Too Much Trust is Death to Innovation,” Bidault & Castello (2010), question whether there is actually such a thing as excessive trust in some alliances.


To prepare for this Discussion ,

Review this week’s Learning Resources, especially:

· 9 Challenges to Strategic Partnerships [INFOGRAPHIC] (powerlinx.com)

· Why Too Much Trust Is Death to Innovation – See pdf

· Human Resources – See pdf

· Understanding the Benefits – See pdf

· Maximizing Human Capital – See pdf





Post a cohesive response two of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:


· Ask a probing question.

· Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings.

· Offer and support an opinion.

· Validate an idea with your own experience.

· Make a suggestion.

· Expand on your colleagues’ postings.

· No Plagiarism

· APA citing







1st Colleague – Natasha Mills 

The Importance of Trust in Alliance Building


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Week 5 Discussion

Many scholars use the analogy of a marriage when addressing the nature of partnerships. Bari (2006), for instance, states that like marriages, where divorce rates are high, so do partnerships break, primarily due to changes in goals and the people involved as well. Therefore, partnerships are a vital strategic management approach that organizations have come to critically rely on for organizational success. However, partnerships record higher rates of failure than success. The main reason for this phenomenon is the failure by organizations to think about how they want the partnership to end (Bari, 2006). HR executives play an essential role in determining how partnerships end. This is an analysis of that role, as well as how HR executives build trust with prospective alliances for partnership success.

Actions HR Executives can Take to Build Trust with Prospective Alliances

The potential for long-term partnerships and a good return on investment is anchored on paying attention to the details of the alliance. Executives tend to get into partnerships without appropriate or thorough risk analysis due to the pressures they experience to find a solution. Hence, it is the role of HR executives to conduct these thorough analyses to improve the chances of success for the partnership. This role includes actions such as reviewing the resumes of the partners and assessing the potential value they will add to the firm (Laurent, 2008). The resumes also reveal both personal and professional facts about the prospective partners that could put them and the firm at risk.

Another action is for HR executives to analyze and track issues using the key performance indicators (KPIs). Laurent (2008) argues that it is essential to hold partners accountable for effective management. The HR executives should develop KPIs for the partnership to allow both businesses to communicate and track issues. These actions will lead to the creation of trust by addressing small to big issues that may impede the success of the partnership. As a result, the businesses will prevent the emergence of conflicts and their negative outcome of failed alliances. Simply put, to build trust with prospective alliance partners, HR executives perform the same actions as those they do within the organization, only that they extend these actions to the external domain.

How HR Executives can Address Mistrust Using Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Skills

During partnerships, it is fundamental for businesses to build the right level of trust for the alliance to be optimal and create maximum value. Bidault & Castello (2010) posit that too low trust is detrimental and so is too much trust. HR executives are responsible for creating the necessary level of trust to achieve the desired impact of the partnership. Negotiation and conflict resolution skills come in handy during these instances. Therefore, in a situation where there is mistrust despite the partners being a great strategic fit, HR executives should establish a win-win outcome for both businesses. The win-win should create a lot of value for each partner instead of being imbalanced. The primary way of establishing a win-win is to take into consideration the needs of both partners and find a way to harmonize those needs. It will be easy for the HR executives to avoid conflict and develop increased trust when the needs of each partner have been taken into consideration and incorporated into the business strategy of the alliance.   

My Role as an HR Executive Advising a CEO Determined to Partner with an Untrustworthy Partner

My role as an HR executive advising a CEO who is determined to partner with an untrustworthy partner will be to intensely investigate the prospective partner and present the CEO with facts about them, as well as predictions of possible business outcomes of going ahead with the partnership. Further, as already mentioned, executives are usually under the pressure for an immediate solution. Hence, my role will not only be to present the CEO with facts about the untrustworthy prospective partner to stop the alliance. Rather, I will also have the role of searching for and negotiating with other prospective partners who can replace the untrustworthy one, just as is common with hiring processes (Laurent, 2008). This will relieve the executive from the pressure to go ahead with a partnership with high chances of failure.

In conclusion, HR executives play a central role in ensuring the success of partnerships. Their task is to foster the creation of the necessary level of trust by focusing attention on and addressing areas usually ignored during the formation of partnerships.


Bari, S. (2006). Formalized partnerships work best [Video file].

Bidault, F., & Castello, A. (2010). Why too much trust is death to innovation. MIT Sloan Management Review51(4), 33.

Laurent, W. (2008). Human resources and recruiting management. Information Management18(6), 15.

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2nd Colleague – Tylecia Westbrook 

The important of Building Trust – Discussion – Week 5


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Human resources executives can develop trust in prospective alliance partners by being honest and supportive of their decision. At the same time, having a clear understanding and providing what can be able to satisfy the needs of their partners (Laurent, 2008). It can play a vital role in developing trust since an individual makes an effort to be in there another person’s situation or shoes there to make them appreciate the small thing, and they will realize how sensitive.

To apply conflict and negation skills is a situation where the two parties tend to have no trust in each other. It will play ab vital role in reassuring the parties involved there is no form of biasness at the same time illustrating that there is no side that has been favored. It is important to be determined to be able to solve any dispute that may arise and ensure that understanding and peace have been restored. It will play a vital role in making people trust each other by ensuring that the leader set an example to all entire employees in the organization (Malhotra & Lumineau, 2011). At the same time, it will assist the employee in being able willing to overcome the conflict problem that may arise. Being available to all employees in an organization as a leader during the time of conflict is considered essential since it helps reassure the employee that there is someone who cares and can listen to the issues they face.


The key role of the human resource executive in providing advice to the chief executive officer who wants to partner with an organization that is untrustworthy is to facilitate effective decision making by providing suggestions and reasons as to why the officer needs their partner organization that seems to be untrusty worth (Bidault, & Castello, 2010). A human resource officer is required to be reporting the CEO since he is the senior management of the organization. Instead of deciding to remain silent and therefore contributing, the CEO makes wrong decisions that may affect the organization.


Bidault, F., & Castello, A. (2010). Why too much trust is death to innovation. MIT Sloan Management Review51(4), 33.


Laurent, W. (2008). Human resources and recruiting management. Information Management18(6), 15.


Malhotra, D., & Lumineau, F. (2011). Trust and collaboration in the aftermath of conflict: The effects of contract structure. Academy of management Journal54(5), 981-998.

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