"Interpersonal Trust: What Are We Talking About, What Are We Measuring, and Where Are We Going?"

Cain, D and Chou, E Y and Cooper, C D and Dirks, K T and Ferrin, D L and Pillutla, M and Sah, S (2015) "Interpersonal Trust: What Are We Talking About, What Are We Measuring, and Where Are We Going?". Academy of Management Proceedings, 2015 (1). ISSN 0065-0668

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Trust is essential for effective personal and professional relationships, and a substantial literature has studied the antecedents and consequences of trust. Most of this research has adopted a shared definition of trust: the willingness to be vulnerable based upon positive expectations of the intentions or behavior of another (Davis, Mayer, & Schoorman, 1995; Rousseau, Sitkin, Burt, & Camerer, 1998). Although trust scholars have converged on a single definition, the measures they use to capture trust reflect very different beliefs and behaviors. For example, trust has been used to describe the willingness to hire someone (e.g., Ferrin, Kim, Cooper, & Dirks, 2007; Kim, Ferrin, Cooper, & Dirks, 2004), the willingness to rely on someone’s advice (Johnson-George & Swap, 1982), and the willingness to expose oneself to financial risk (Berg, Dickhaut, & McCabe, 1995; Chou, Halevy, & Murnighan, 2011; Pillutla, Malhotra, & Murnighan, 2003; Schweitzer, Hershey, & Bradlow, 2006). These behaviors reflect distinct perceptions (e.g., beliefs about competence versus benevolence; Davis, Mayer, & Schoorman, 1995), perspectives (e.g., judgments about a person versus a relationship; Dirks & Ferrin, 2002), and psychological processes (e.g., confidence in another person versus coercion; Sah, Lowenstein, & Cain, 2013). As a consequence, many of the claims we have we have made about trust may actually reflect the idiosyncratic measures we have used, rather than reflect general insights about trust. In this symposium, we accomplish three key aims: 1) we highlight the distinct psychological factors that different measures of trust capture (e.g., cognition, emotions, motivations) and discuss what this means for the interpretation of existing findings, 2) we provide prescriptive advice for how to study trust, and 3) we consider new measures and new research questions that will bring insight and clarity to the study of interpersonal trust.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The research article was published by the author with the affiliation of London Business School
Subjects: Organizational Behaviour
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2024 09:08
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 09:08
URI: https://eprints.exchange.isb.edu/id/eprint/2266

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