Trust under Pressure

Trust under Pressure

Empirical Investigations of Trust and Trust Building in Uncertain Circumstances

Edited by Katinka Bijlsma-Frankema and Rosalinde Klein Woolthuis

This book challenges the current thinking on trust largely based on studies in stable contexts, by presenting new empirical studies of trust and trust building in a number of less stable, less institutionalized settings. These contexts are gaining in prominence given the globalization and virtualization of organizational relations, development of high velocity markets, and the growing importance of intangible resources.

Chapter 11: Does Trust Breed Heed? Differential Effects of Trust on Heed and Performance in a Network and a Divisional Form of Organizing

Katinka Bijlsma-Frankema, Bastiaan W. Rosendaal and Gerhard van de Bunt

Subjects: business and management, organisation studies


Katinka Bijlsma-Frankema, Bastiaan W. Rosendaal and Gerhard van de Bunt INTRODUCTION In the past decades, several key authors within the field of trust research have argued that a trust-based network form of organizing is especially suitable for dealing with the external and internal challenges organizations face nowadays (Ouchi, 1979; Powell, 1990; Creed and Miles, 1996; Oliver, 1997). Oliver (p. 238), for instance, argues that internal and external networks are advantageous to organizations because ‘they increase organizational flexibility and the ability to deal with contingencies, and allow organizational learning, features especially needed for complex organizations, operating in a highly complex environment’. In organizations that employ a high percentage of professionals with knowledge-intensive tasks, a network form of organizing can be particularly beneficial to both the organization and the professionals, because of the compatibility with the preferences of professionals for reduced administrative control and flexibility in evaluating outcomes next to the need to exchange specialized knowledge among them (Oliver, 1997, p. 227). Networks are seen as more efficient mechanisms of governance than hierarchies when tasks become increasingly complex and ambiguous, the value of the commodities exchanged is harder to assess and exchange relations are longer-term and recurrent (Powell, 1990). According to Powell, networks emerge in conditions of social similarity, complementary strengths, norms of reciprocity and high interdependence. In situations of recurrent exchanges, these conditions will enable learning and engender trust. Creed and Miles (1996) argue that trust is critical to the functioning of network forms of organizing. As organizations move...

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