CiteWeb id: 19950000011

CiteWeb score: 14089

DOI: 10.5465/AMR.1995.9508080335

Scholars in various disciplines have considered the causes, nature, and effects of trust. Prior approaches to studying trust are considered, including characteristics of the trustor, the trustee, and the role of risk. A definition of trust and a model of its antecedents and outcomes are presented, which integrate research from multiple disciplines and differentiate trust from similar constructs. Several research propositions based on the model are presented. The topic of trust is generating increased interest in organizational studies. Gambetta (1988) noted that "scholars tend to mention [trust] in passing, to allude to it as a fundamental ingredient or lubricant, an unavoidable dimension of social interaction, only to move on to deal with less intractable matters" (unnumbered foreword). The importance of trust has been cited in such areas as communication (Giffin, 1967), leadership (Atwater, 1988), management by objectives (Scott, D., 1980), negotiation (Bazerman, 1994), game theory (Milgrom & Roberts, 1992), performance appraisal (Cummings, 1983), labor-management relations (Taylor, 1989), and implementation of self-managed work teams (Lawler, 1992). Although a great deal of interest in trust has been expressed by scholars, its study in organizations has remained problematic for several reasons: problems with the definition of trust itself; lack of clarity in the relationship between risk and trust; confusion between trust and its antecedents and outcomes; lack of specificity of trust referents leading to confusion in levels of analysis; and a failure to consider both the trusting party and the party to be trusted. The purpose of this article is to illuminate and resolve these problems in the presentation of a model of trust of one individual for another. Through this model we propose that this level of trust and the level of perceived risk in the situation will lead to risk taking in the relationship.

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