Table of Contents

Handbook of Trust Research

Handbook of Trust Research

Elgar original reference

Edited by Reinhard Bachmann and Akbar Zaheer

The Handbook of Trust Research presents a timely and comprehensive account of the most important work undertaken in this lively and emerging field over the past ten to fifteen years. Presenting a broad range of approaches to issues on trust, the Handbook features 22 articles from a variety of disciplines on the study of trust in both organizational and societal contexts. With contributions from some of the most eminent names in the field of trust research, this international collaboration is an imaginative and informative reference tool to aid research in this engaging area for years to come.

Chapter 9: The Dark Side of Trust

Martin Gargiulo and Gokhan Ertug

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies, economics and finance, economic psychology


1 Martin Gargiulo and Gokhan Ertug Introduction Research on trust has seen a notable resurgence in the last two decades. Although there were some important contributions to the literature on trust after Deutsch’s initial work (Deutsch, 1958; 1962), such contributions were sporadic until the late 1980s (for example, Kee and Knox, 1970; Zand, 1972; Luhmann, 1979; Barber, 1983). The influential article by Zucker (1986) and the collective volume edited by Gambetta (1988a) marked the beginning of the ongoing revival in research on trust. An increasing number of books (Fukuyama, 1995) and edited volumes (most notably Kramer and Tyler, 1995 and Lane and Bachmann, 1998), as well as special issues of the Academy of Management Review (Zaheer et al., 1998), Organization Studies (Bachmann et al., 2001) and Organization Science (McEvily et al., 2003) attest to the increasing interest in trust in general and in organizational settings in particular. Such efforts have resulted in an impressive body of research that encompasses both theoretical reflections and empirical studies. Despite the diversity of approaches, practically all the existing studies stress the benefits trust can bring to the parties involved. This optimistic bias has been also noticed in related areas such as ‘social capital’ (Portes, 1998; Gargiulo and Benassi, 2000) and network forms of organizations (Podolny and Page, 1998). The lack of attention to this ‘dark side’ of trust has hampered the emergence of a more balanced and complete perspective on the nature and the effects of trust in general,...

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