Trust in Organizations

  • John G. Bruhn
Part of the Clinical Sociology book series (CSRP)


Changes in the work environment over the past two to three decades have significantly altered how we trust organizations, our bosses and our coworkers. In the past, there was such a thing as lifetime employment. Corporations and businesses assumed responsibility for career development, and employees believed that their employer would act in their best interests. Then, due to large inefficiencies, companies began developing a low dependency on employees, leading to restructurings, mergers, and downsizings. Now, companies encourage employees to be concerned about their own career development. Employees’ views of work have also changed. Employment has become more transactional. Richards (1998) attributes this to a decline in trust between employer and employee. Employees know they are expendable and employers owe little allegiance to their workers. Furthermore, many employees identify themselves more with their roles than they do with their companies. This free ownership leads employees to see themselves as free agents; they stay on the lookout for the next opportunity. Richards (1998) describes how GTE launched a recruitment effort for a project in Latin America, listing positions on more than 20 Web sites. Within a 30-day period, GTE had more than 1,000 external resumes. Richards has characterized today’s work force as multicultural vagabonds. Mutual trust between employer and employee is the casualty.


Social Capital Transformational Leader Organizational Citizenship Behavior Citizenship Behavior Leader Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • John G. Bruhn
    • 1
  1. 1.New Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA

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