Reaching Out, Reaching In
Edited by Viva Ona Bartkus and James H. Davis
11. Trust, distrust and building social capital Roy J. Lewicki and Chad T. Brinsﬁeld The relationship between trust and social capital oﬀers signiﬁcant insights that are often actionable. While it is hard to challenge the existence of a strong, positive relationship between the two, a closer examination of trust research reveals multiple issues. Trust has been deﬁned in many diﬀerent ways: in some cases it focuses on the trustors’ perceptions, intentions, attitudes, expectations and behaviors; in others, the qualities and conduct of the trustee; in yet others, the type and level of trust judgments or the context in which people decide to trust. The question also exists as to whether trust and distrust are opposite ends of a single construct or distinctly diﬀerent entities that can coexist. Similar diﬃculties occur when we try to relate trust to social capital. As this volume clearly shows (Ostrom, Chapter 1; Kramer, Chapter 9; Davis and Bartkus, Chapter 13), the delineation of social capital and its related constructs is still the subject of much scrutiny and academic discussion, often yielding far more heat than light. Our argument is that diﬀerent types of trust exist and that trust and distrust are conceptually and empirically distinct. However, we also assert that the same relationship may contain both trust and distrust, and that such a combination can be healthy. In fact, the balance of the two forms the basis of social capital in many relationships (interpersonal, group or organizational)...
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