Edited by Fergus Lyon, Guido Möllering and Mark N.K. Saunders
Chapter 21: Diary Methods in Trust Research
Rosalind H. Searle INTRODUCTION Diary methods present an exciting opportunity for trust researchers to gather detailed, accurate and multi-faceted insights into social behaviour, cognitive and affective states as they occur within their natural settings. The approaches allow events and experiences which shape individuals’ perceptions of trust to be richly explored. More importantly for trust scholars, these techniques present the opportunity to develop more comprehensive understandings of the dynamics of trust development, maintenance and repair. Yet despite their potential, to date little research on trust has been conducted using these tools. One of the most promising applications of this technique is the exploration of major events and their resultant changes and transitions. Such events frequently involve shifts in trust levels between parties. Diary studies could look at how different employees respond to changes such as downsizing, or other major trust breakdowns. There is a paucity of longitudinal study generally in research, but especially in examining trust. We know potentially about the huge impact of trust breakdown on relationships and organisations (Bies and Tripp, 1996; Dirks and Ferrin, 2001; Ferrin et al., 2007; Gillespie and Dietz, 2009; Robinson, 1996; Searle et al., 2011), but we know less about its actual longer-term impact. For example, major life events, such as divorce, can have a substantial and disruptive impact on everyday routines and ongoing moods and cognitions (Caspi et al., 1987; Franklin et al., 1990) but what is the long-term impact on trust? Through obtaining sufficient responses utilising diary methods we could begin to...
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