Trust and Distrust in Work Relationships: A Grounded Approach

20 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2005

See all articles by Carolyn M. Wiethoff

Carolyn M. Wiethoff

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Management & Entrepreneurship

Roy J. Lewicki

Ohio State University (OSU) - Human Resource Research

Date Written: June 1, 2005

Abstract

Most research on trust and distrust has proceeded from theorizing about the nature of trust, and deducing the key definitions of the phenomena, key components of the definitions, and important contributors to trust-building or distrust-building processes. While these approaches are conceptually appealing and appear to have face validity, little research on trust and distrust has evolved by beginning with layperson descriptions of actual trust and distrust events.

The purpose of this study was to examine detailed descriptions of trust and distrust events and determine the most appropriate categories to distinguish within and between these events. Stories of trust and distrust were solicited, and a grounded theory approach was used to develop codes of these stories. Codes distinguished trust and distrust stories within and across the following dimensions: types of trust, how knowledge about the other is derived (the role of reputation), relationship between trustor and trustee, the role of time in trust-inducing and distrust-creating events, and the role of volition. Implications of these findings for trust theorizing, trust measurement and trust development are discussed.

Keywords: Trust, Distrust, Relationships

Suggested Citation

Wiethoff, Carolyn M. and Lewicki, Roy J., Trust and Distrust in Work Relationships: A Grounded Approach (June 1, 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=736273 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.736273

Carolyn M. Wiethoff (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Management & Entrepreneurship ( email )

Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Roy J. Lewicki

Ohio State University (OSU) - Human Resource Research ( email )

700 Fisher Hall
2100 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1144
United States
614-292-0258 (Phone)
614-488-0546 (Fax)

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