Handbooks of Research Methods in Management series
Edited by Fergus Lyon, Guido Möllering and Mark N.K. Saunders
Chapter 24: Diary methods in trust research
Diary methods offer access to social behaviour, cognitive and affective states as they unfold within natural settings. Recording immediately as events occur, allows research into mental states without problems of sensitising and biases. In this chapter, their potential particularly in developing our understanding of the dynamics of trust is outlined. Diary methods present an exciting opportunity for trust researchers to gather detailed, accurate and multi-faceted insights into social behaviour, cognitive and affective states as they occur within their natural settings. The approaches allow events and experiences which shape individuals’ perceptions of trust to be richly explored. More importantly for trust scholars, these techniques present the opportunity to develop more comprehensive understandings of the dynamics of trust development, maintenance and repair. Yet despite their potential, to date little research has been conducted using these tools. One of the most promising applications of this technique is the exploration of major events and their resultant changes and transitions. Such events frequently involve shifts in trust levels between parties. Diary studies could look at how different employees respond to changes such as downsizing, or other major trust breakdowns. There is a paucity of longitudinal study generally in research, but especially in examining trust.
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