The role of public, relational and organizational trust in economic affairs

Karen S. Cook, Oliver Schilke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Trust, when established, contributes to the smooth running of political and economic systems which require the success of collective undertakings. Trust must be based on trustworthiness of the actors involved and the reliability of the institutions that are created to provide for the public good. Public trust is low when this is not the case. Even in the realm of business enterprises, market-based transactions, and the world of for-profit entities, trustworthiness and reliability build confidence in those who are the potential clients or consumers. In this paper, we discuss the role of trustworthiness in relations between physicians and their clients as one example of the role of public trust in professionals. We also discuss the role of trustworthiness in the realm of strategic alliances focusing on organizational culture and contractual safeguards as significant determinants of trust formation. We discuss the implications of this research and related work on the potential for increased trust at the relational, organizational and general societal levels in an ever-changing complex, global and interdependent world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-109
Number of pages12
JournalCorporate Reputation Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • R & D
  • alliances
  • interorganizational relations
  • social capital
  • trust
  • trustworthiness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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