Trust and Distrust in Work Relationships: A Grounded Approach
20 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2005
Date Written: June 1, 2005
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
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