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Anne H. Gausdal

The aim of this chapter is to identify trust-building processes in networks, with particular emphasis on the link between practical intervention methods and such processes. It draws on a comparative case study with longitudinal data from three Norwegian regional networks undertaken to answer the research question: ‘What are the core practical interventions in dialogue-based methods that facilitate social learning of trust in networks?’ The answer is to let the participants meet face to face at several seminars over a period of several months and develop joint terms and understanding. Furthermore, the participants should work together on reflection tasks organized in small, temporary, inter-organizational groups under time pressure, requiring all participants to be active by sharing, reflecting on and having dialogues about experiences and challenges within the firms. Moreover, seminars could be arranged in various localities with joint meals and social mingling at informal moments, for example breaks and plant visits. These interventions seem to have the potential to facilitate the social learning of trust in networks in general and also seem to work in very early stages with weak or absent trust bases among participants. The main contribution of the chapter is to increase understanding of trust-building processes in networks as social learning processes at a practical micro level.