Handbook of Advances in Trust Research
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Handbook of Advances in Trust Research

Edited by Reinhard Bachmann and Akbar Zaheer

The Handbook of Advances in Trust Research presents new and important developments in trust research. The contributors are all prominent and highly respected experts in the field. Firstly, they provide a contemporary overview of the most crucial issues in current trust research including contracts, innovation and negotiation, trust and control. Thereafter, themes which have gained prominence since the original Handbook are considered, such as trust and the financial crisis, public trust in business, and trust and HRM. The book also explores recent theoretical advances and points the way for future research on trust.
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Chapter 5: Trust and innovation

Bart Nooteboom


In innovation, trust is especially needed as well as especially problematic. One needs trust under uncertainty and in innovation uncertainty is high. If one were certain about conditions, conduct and outcomes one would no longer talk about trust. This is related to a paradox of information concerning trust (Pagden, 1988). On the one hand, trust entails lack of information, since that entails risk of vulnerability to actions of others, and if one were certain about such actions, there would no longer be risk. On the other hand, trust is seldom completely uninformed, and is to some extent based on information, in attributions of trustworthiness or lack of it based on observed or reported behaviour. Trust entails uncertainty of conditions, conduct or outcomes that maybe calculable (usually referred to as ‘risk’ in this technical sense) or incalculable (radical uncertainty). The uncertainty of trust entails a possibility of loss due to mishap or misconduct.

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