Advertisement

Teaching Business Ethics

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 285–306 | Cite as

The Importance of Consistency in Establishing Cognitive-based Trust: A Laboratory Experiment

  • Paul Dunn
Article

Abstract

This paper reports the results of two experiments onthe importance of three trust cues on establishinginterpersonal trust within a business setting. Theliterature (Lewis and Weigert, 1985; Ring, 1996) hasidentified two aspects to trust: a cognitive elementin which trust is the result of a rational calculationby the trustor about how the trustee will behave inthe future, and an emotional element in which trust isthe product of a strong positive affection between thetwo individuals. Most social relations, includingeconomic ones, are based on cognitive trust, whereasemotional trust is the basis for intense personalrelationships, such as love and friendship. Thisstudy focuses on three cognitive-based cues thatengender trust within a dyadic relationship: thefrequency with which the trustee and trustor interact,the competence of the trustee, and the consistency ofthe trustee’s previous behavior. In two experiments,using a budget setting, trust is measured as theperceived reliability of the trustee’s budgetinformation and the estimated time for the trustor tocomplete the budget task. The results reveal that theconsistency of the trustee’s previous behavior is themost important element in engendering cognitive-basedtrust within a dyad.

budgeting ethics trust 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Baier, Annette: 1986, ‘Trust and Antitrust’, Ethics 96 (January), 231–260.Google Scholar
  2. Bok, Sissela: 1978, Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life, Vintage Books, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Bromiley, Philip and Larry Cummings: 1995, ‘Transaction Costs in Organizations with Trust’, Research on Negotiations in Organizations 5, 219–247.Google Scholar
  4. Butler, John: 1983, ‘Reciprocity of Trust between Professionals and their Secretaries’, Psychological Reports 53, 411–416.Google Scholar
  5. Butler, John and R. Stephen Cantrell: 1984, ‘A Behavioral Decision Theory Approach to Modelling Dyadic Trust in Superiors and Subordinates’, Psychological Reports 55 (August), 19–28.Google Scholar
  6. Deutsch, Morton: 1958, ‘Trust and Suspicion’, Journal of Conflict Resolution 2, 265–279.Google Scholar
  7. Gabarro, John: 1978, ‘The Development of Trust, Influence, and Expectations’, in Anthony Athos and John Gabarro (eds.), Interpersonal Behavior: Communication and Understanding in Relationships, Prentice-Hall Inc.Google Scholar
  8. Gambetta, Diego: 1988, ‘Can We Trust Trust?’, in Diego Gambetta (ed.), Trust-making and Breaking: Cooperative Relations, Basil Blackwood.Google Scholar
  9. Giffin, Kim: 1967, ‘The Contribution of Studies of Source Credibility to a Theory of Interpersonal Trust in the Communication Process’, Psychological Bulletin 68(2), 104–120.Google Scholar
  10. Gulati, Ranjay: 1995, ‘Does Familiarity Breed Trust? The Implications of Repeated Ties for Contractual Choice in Alliances’, Academy of Management Journal 38 (February), 85–112.Google Scholar
  11. Hosmer, LaRue: 1995, ‘Trust: The Connecting Link between Organizational Theory and Philosophical Ethics’, Academy of Management Review 20 (April), 379–403.Google Scholar
  12. Jones, Gareth and Jennifer George: 1998, ‘The Experience and Evolution of Trust: Implications for Cooperation and Teamwork’, Academy of Management Review 23 (July), 531–546.Google Scholar
  13. Ketz, J. Edward, Terry Campbell and Sidney Baxendale: 1991, Management Accounting. Brace Jovanovich Publishers, Harcourt.Google Scholar
  14. Larzelere, Robert and Ted Huston: 1980, ‘The Dyadic Trust Scale: Toward Understanding Interpersonal Trust in Close Relationships’, Journal of Marriage and the Family (August), 595–604.Google Scholar
  15. Lewis, David and Andrew Weigert: 1985, ‘Trust as a Social Reality’, Social Forces 63, 967–985.Google Scholar
  16. Mayer, Roger, James Davis and F. David Schoorman: 1995, ‘An Integrative Model of Organizational Trust’, Academy of Management Review 20 (July), 709–734.Google Scholar
  17. McAllister, Daniel: 1995, ‘Affect-and Cognition-based Trust as Foundations for Interpersonal Cooperation in Organizations’, Academy of Management Journal 38 (February), 24–59.Google Scholar
  18. Neu, Dean: 1991, ‘Trust, Contracting and the Prospectus Process’, Accounting, Organizations and Society 16(3), 243–256.Google Scholar
  19. Patchen, Martin, Gerhard Hofmann and James Davidson: 1976, ‘Interracial Perceptions Among High School Students’, Sociometry 39, 341–354.Google Scholar
  20. Rempel, John, John Holmes and Mark Zanna: 1985, ‘Trust in Close Relationships’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 49(1), 95–112.Google Scholar
  21. Ring, Peter: 1996, ‘Fragile and Resilient Trust and their Roles in Economic Exchange’, Business and Society 35 (June), 148–175.Google Scholar
  22. Ring, Peter and Andrew Van De Ven: 1992, ‘Structuring Cooperative Relationships between Organizations’, Strategic Management Journal 13, 483–498.Google Scholar
  23. Ruchala, Linda: 1999, ‘The Influence of Budget Goal Attainment on Risk Attitudes and Escalation’, Behavioral Research in Accounting 11, 161–191.Google Scholar
  24. Sitkin, Sim and Nancy Roth: 1993, ‘Explaining the Limited Effectiveness of Legalistic “Remedies” for Trust/Distrust’, Organizational Science 4 (August), 367–392.Google Scholar
  25. Valley, Kathleen, Margaret Neale and Elizabeth Mannix: 1995, ‘Friends, Lovers, Colleagues, Strangers: The Effects of Relationships on the Process and Outcome of Dyadic Negotiations’, Research on Negotiation in Organizations 5, 65–93.Google Scholar
  26. Whitener, Ellen, Susan Brodt, M. Audrey Korsgaard and Jon Werner: 1998, ‘Managers as Initiators of Trust: An Exchange Relationship Framework for Understanding Managerial Trustworthy Behavior’, Academy of Management Review 23 (July), 513–530.Google Scholar
  27. Wicks, Andrew, Shawn Berman and Thomas Jones: 1999, ‘The Structure of Optimal Trust: Moral and Strategic Implications’, Academy of Management Review 24 (January), 99–116.Google Scholar
  28. Zand, Dale: 1972, ‘Trust and Managerial Problem Solving’, Administrative Science Quarterly 17 (June), 229–239.Google Scholar
  29. Zucker, Lynne: 1986, ‘Production of Trust: Institutional Sources of Economic Structure, 1940-1920’, Research in Organizational Behavior 8, 53–111.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Dunn
    • 1
  1. 1.Brock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada

Personalised recommendations