Management International Review

, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 617–642 | Cite as

Expectations for Help Within and Across the Formal Boundaries of Executives’ Professional Advice Networks

  • Stewart R. MillerEmail author
  • Marie Louise Mors
  • Michael McDonald
Research Article


We develop a theoretical framework for executives’ expectations for receiving help from professional contacts in their advice networks across national (local/nonlocal) and organizational (inside/outside) boundaries. Moreover, we examine the effects of relational duration and trust in the relationships. In a study using unique data on 1807 professional relationships in a US-headquartered multinational consulting firm, we find that executives expect less help from outside contacts. This result is partially mediated by trust. Also, relational duration mitigates expectations for help from outsiders. Surprisingly, we find no evidence that executives expect less help from nonlocal contacts. Yet a test of nonlocal professional contacts reveals that geographic distance rather than cultural distance, affects the expectations for help. Another supplemental analysis shows that the type of help provided in the network influences the effects of organizational and national boundaries.


Executive advice networks Expectations for help Service multinational enterprise Formal boundaries Professional contacts 



The authors acknowledge helpful suggestions from Bart Vanneste and Michelle Rogan.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stewart R. Miller
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marie Louise Mors
    • 2
  • Michael McDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Texas-San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  2. 2.Copenhagen Business SchoolFrederiksbergDenmark

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