Trust relationships : an exposition of three propositions
Small, Anthony Robert
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The argument presented here is that individual trust acts facilitate mutual exchange and are, therefore, the ground for the creation, elaboration and sustainability of organisations; specifically, democratic, educational organisations within Canada. The researcher assembles a composite definition of trust, which informs an analysis of themes found in the literature on both leadership and trust. The author argues three propositions based on trust to support the conclusion that trust determines follower receptivity to diverse leader behaviours. Proposition 1 is that, ‘trust and leadership require the free participation of agents. The degree to which agents perceive themselves as ‘free’ with respect to their interests is a measure of the utility of trust. Proposition 2 that, ‘trust and leadership are relational phenomena necessary for the creation and sustainability of organisations: trust is causative in this regard than is leadership. Proposition 3 is that, ‘the objects of trust and leadership may be concrete as in trust of another person or abstract as in trust in an institution (i.e., in a democracy). Trust is a paradox since the institutionalization of distrust is required for its function. This distrust takes the form of laws, sanctions, customs and norms. Trust is defined by the researcher as a particular item of experience or reality; specifically, the expectation that one will be treated justly in exchanges with others. To trust means to make oneself vulnerable for the purpose of entering into such exchanges, expressly or through an act of law.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
SupervisorScharf, Murray P.
CommitteeWalker, Keith D.; Sackney, Lawrence (Larry); Carr-Stewart, Sheila; Wickett, R. E. Y. (Reg)
Copyright DateMarch 2004