Empirical Investigations of Trust and Trust Building in Uncertain Circumstances
Edited by Katinka Bijlsma-Frankema and Rosalinde Klein Woolthuis
Chapter 13: Trust Under Pressure: Afterthoughts
Katinka Bijlsma-Frankema and Rosalinde Klein Woolthuis Although trust is a much debated topic, empirical research on trust relations that are not sustained by institutional mechanisms and ‘taken-for-granted’ rules of the game have so far received relatively little attention (Child 1998; Humphrey 1998; Reed 2001). The studies presented in this book focused on exactly those relationships in which partners have little to fall back upon to build trust, that is, to make their ‘leap of faith’ (Bradach and Eccles, 1989). The studies described situations in which actors are members of different organizations, tribes or countries; relationships are not embedded in a shared institutional structure, common culture, or networks; and/or transactions are not backed up by contracts, monitoring or sanctioning systems. Other factors, such as the increasing importance of intangible resources and the pace with which technologies develop, also contribute to the complexity of governing cooperative relations. This book aimed to shed some preliminary light on trust and trust building in situations where several institutional, taken-for-granted, or rational bases for control and trust are lacking. The question this book broached is: how do actors build and sustain trust in these situations; how do actors deal with ‘trust under pressure’? The empirical studies presented in this book were conducted by scholars with a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds, employing insights from many ﬁelds, including organization theory, knowledge management, sociology, psychology, economics, management, human resources management and communication sciences. Empirical data were gathered in twelve different countries, including Eastern European countries, Mexico and Tanzania...
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