Studying Trust as Process within and between Organizations
Edited by Søren Jagd and Lars Fuglsang
Chapter 10: Trust and distrust as cultural frames
One view on trust that has largely gone unexamined in the literature is the process perspective. The process perspective advances the view that trust develops over time in the local context through a history of interaction between knowledgeable social actors. The term ‘knowledgeable social actor’ implies that individuals respond actively to unfolding events in the context and modify their responses to meet changes in circumstances. Within a process perspective, this chapter looks closely at the relationships between a group of young men with minority ethnic backgrounds, a team of youth workers, a job consultant and a police officer, to shed light on trust- and distrust-building processes. This chapter addresses the frames used by the young men to organize public sector employees, either as trusting or distrusting, together with some of the cultural tools used to construct these frames. The key question that the chapter considers is: how can trust and distrust be understood as cultural frames? The research reveals that both trust and distrust can be influenced and manipulated through social interaction over time and through the subsequent sense-making processes in the particular context. The chapter contributes towards understanding of the micro-processes at play in trust- and distrust-building processes.
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