Forms, Foundations, Functions, Failures and Figures

Bart Nooteboom

Trust deals with a range of questions such as: what are the roles of trust? What can we trust in? Can trust serve as an instrument for the governance of relations? Is trust a substitute, a precondition or an outcome of contracts? The author then goes on to analyse what trust is based on, what its limits are, how it grows and how it can also break down. The role of intermediaries is also discussed.

Chapter 2: Forms

Bart Nooteboom

Subjects: economics and finance, economic psychology, industrial organisation


The first part of this chapter reviews definitions of trust and makes a proposal for a distinction between a wide definition of trust, for which I use the term ‘reliance’, and a narrower, strong definition of ‘real’ trust. The second part analyzes different forms of trust: its objects and aspects. The objects of trust include, among other things, people and organizations. This raises the question how trust in people and trust in organizations are related. 2.1 DEFINITION Is trust a type of behaviour, or an underlying disposition? What are the answers to the fourth and fifth questions identified in Chapter 1? Question 4: Trust and probability If trust entails risk, how is this to be understood? Can trust be modelled as a subjective probability? Can trust go together with certainty? Question 5: Calculative and non-calculative trust How calculative or rational is trust? If it is not calculative, does this necessarily lead to blind, unconditional trust? If not, why not, and how does this work? Can calculative and non-calculative trust be combined? How? Disposition and Behaviour In some literature, trust is seen as a form of behaviour, in other literature it is seen as a behavioural disposition, or a subjective state of expectations (see Das and Teng 2001). Milgrom and Roberts (1992) for example, find the first, in the book on Economics, Organization and Management. The index of the book indicates that trust is discussed on three pages out of 605. There, trust is treated in...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information