Globalization, workplace diversity, increased needs for cooperation, collaboration, and competition, increased awareness of cultural differences, advanced communications technologies, complex alliances, and a host of other factors focus us increasingly on the significance of organizational trust.
Trust within and across organizations is conceived by many to be directly related to the ability to form new associations and networks of trusting relationships to accomplish business transactions. Many contend trust is the somewhat ambiguous yet critical process necessary for organizational survival and the bedrock of organizational excellence. In times of increased imperatives for change and less certainty about how change can and should occur, it is not surprising that a renewed interest in trust surfaces as scholars and practitioners alike seek to understand relationships among trust, individual behaviors, markets, organizational strategy, leadership, resistance to change, perceptions of organizational justice, and organizational abilities to change and adapt. The studies in this work support our understanding.
The chapters in part one describe a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches to the understanding of trust. A new measurement instrument is included along with descriptions of the evolution of trust in the social sciences, sociology, and psychology. The structure and functionality of organizational trust is discussed as are the relationships between organizational trust and other constructs such as motivation, performances, organizational justice, commitment, organizational citizenship, work satisfaction, stress, and attitudes. The chapters in part two focus on trust at the individual and team level. The psychological mechanisms of trust are examined as well as the concept of organizational trust in psychological contracts.
The relationships between trust and leadership behaviors are discussed as well as the role of trust in team dynamics. The chapters in part three describe applications of trust at the organizational level. Building trust in organizations is described as well as differences and similarities in trust across management cultures in Japan, America, Europe, and Romania. Additionally, the role of trust in strategic alliances and organizational change is explored. Part three concludes with a discussion of the challenges of organizational trust.
Taken as a whole these papers underscore the complexity and importance of organization al trust for organizational viability. The articles also have significance for individuals in terms of both leadership strategies and a variety of outcomes individuals experience in their organizational lives. We commend the editors for their thoughtfulness in assembling these contributions to the critically importance processes of organizational trust.
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs