Trust in Organizations: The Significance and Measurement of Trust in Corporate Actors

Part of the Progress in IS book series (PROIS)


For organizations, the trust of their stakeholders is of enormous significance because it is the basis on which organizations are able to achieve their objectives in the long run in a modern, differentiated society. The public perception of organizations and their products also depends heavily on the assessment of their trustworthiness. It is therefore all the more surprising that questions concerning what stakeholder trust in organizations actually is and how it can be measured have so far only been sparsely addressed in communication science. In the present contribution, trust in organizations is conceptualized with reference to sociological theories of trust, among other ideas. According to these theories, trust is a mechanism that makes the risk perceived by stakeholders in their relationships with organizations tolerable. Following the model by Mayer, Davis, and Schoorman, which originates from organizational psychology, trust in organizations is significantly based on their perceived trustworthiness. The empirical analysis of the factors of the perceived trustworthiness of organizations is performed with reference to the example of political parties and non-governmental organizations. The results illustrate the significance of organizational trustworthiness for the relevant organizations and provide valuable implications for organizational practice. The contribution also sheds light on the methodological challenges associated with measuring the trustworthiness of organizations and looks at the resultant challenges for interdisciplinary trust research.


Trust in organizations Trust in political parties Trust in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) Campaign communication 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MünsterMünsterGermany

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