The Role of Trust in the Globally Mobile Workforce

  • School: Nottingham Business School
  • Starting: 2019
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


As organizations expand into the global market place, there is an increasing need for a globally mobile talent pool. The trust placed by an individual in their employing organization is fundamental in the decision to relocate globally. Similarly, the trust between expatriate workers and local counterparts is critical to successful international work. Despite trust and global mobility being well established topics, the intersection remains under-researched.

The global mobility literature has grown exponentially in recent years as globalization becomes a reality for many organizations (Guo and Al Ariss, 2015), pointing to an ever-shifting context in which people are managed. A feature of this shifting context is the need for a globally mobile workforce. We continue to witness changing forms of expatriation, for example self-initiated expatriates (Suutari and Brewster, 2000), hidden expatriates (Haak-Saheem and Brewster, 2017) and inpatriates (Dickmann and Baruch, 2011) to name but a few. A shared feature among these workers is the significance of undertaking international work and the trust placed in an employer.

In the context of global mobility, trust fosters a willingness to engage with cultural differences, whereas a lack of trust may lead to ineffectual international work. There is a need to develop our understanding of the role that trust plays in international work to surface practices which influence trust.


Dickmann, M., & Baruch, Y. (2011). Global Careers. Oxon: Routledge.

Guo, C., & Al Ariss, A. 2015. Human resource management of international migrants: current theories and future research. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(10), 1287–1297.

Haak-Saheem, W., & Brewster, C. 2017. ‘Hidden’ expatriates: international mobility in the United Arab Emirates as a challenge to current understanding of expatriation. Human Resource Management Journal, 27(3), 423–439.

Suutari, V., & Brewster, C. 2000. Making their own way: international experience through self-initiated foreign assignments. Journal of World Business, 20(4), 417–436.


Dr Maranda Ridgway

Entry qualifications

An applicant for admission to read for a PhD should normally hold a first or upper second class honours degree of a UK university or an equivalent qualification, or a lower second class honours degree with a Master's degree at Merit level of a UK university or an equivalent qualification.

International students will also need to meet the English language requirements - IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0). Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements. A research proposal (between 1,000 and a maximum of 2,000 words) must be submitted as part of the application.

For more information please visit the NTU Doctoral School – Research Degrees webpages.

How to apply

Applications are accepted all year round.

Download an application form here.
Please make sure you take a look at our application guidance notes before making your application.

Further information on how to apply can be found on this page.

Fees and funding

This is a self-funded PhD opportunity.

Guidance and support

Further information on guidance and support can be found on this page.

Still need help?

Maranda Ridgway