Trust, Organizations and Social Interaction
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Trust, Organizations and Social Interaction

Studying Trust as Process within and between Organizations

Edited by Søren Jagd and Lars Fuglsang

Trust, Organizations and Social Interaction promotes new knowledge about trust in an organizational context. The book provides case-analysis of how trust is formed through processes of social interaction in which actors observe, reflect upon and make sense of trust behaviour and its meaning in an organizational and social environment. It greatly contributes to clarifying what a process view may mean in trust research and to understanding how social interaction processes affect trust.
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Chapter 12: Process dynamics of trust development: exploring and illustrating emergence in the team context

Taina Savolainen and Mirjami Ikonen


By exploring the development of trust as a process in the team context, this chapter aims to illustrate how the process of trust development emerges. The chapter aims to advance the current theoretical discussion and empirical research on intra-organizational processes of trust. The purpose is to meet the existing need for a more dynamic conceptualization of the process and its emergence by employing a qualitative approach to studying trust. The study seeks to shed more light on the dynamics of the micro-level process in teams. This research is explorative in nature, that is, a trial for developing a new way to study trust as a process and to conduct an empirical exploration. The chapter aims to deepen our understanding of trust development as a dynamic process, differing from the mainstream trust research in that applying a qualitative methodology and process view to studying trust makes it possible to produce more in-depth and richer descriptions. The empirical study is conducted in two teams: a sports team and a multi-professional team. Studying trust as a dynamic process and an emergent phenomenon makes the research endeavour highly complex. Nonetheless, there is a need to increase the understanding and contextual empirical knowledge, which makes the effort worthwhile. The main research question is: ‘How does trust develop and how do the nature and dynamics of the trust development process emerge in the intra-organizational work team relationship context?’ The key findings show that the dynamics of trust building in a team manifests itself in multiple developments and that the process unfolds in different patterns.

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