Trust and Fairness

Authored by: E. Allan Lind

The Routledge Companion to Trust

Print publication date:  March  2018
Online publication date:  March  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138817593
eBook ISBN: 9781315745572
Adobe ISBN:


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We have known for a long time that trust is linked to perceptions of fairness, especially perceptions of procedural fairness. The very first study of procedural justice (Walker, LaTour, Lind, & Thibaut, 1974) showed that disputants in a laboratory conflict resolution process trusted the judge more when fair procedures were used – specifically, when the procedure allowed the disputants themselves more control over the presentation of evidence. In another early study, Tyler, Rasinski, and McGraw (1985) found citizen perceptions of procedural fairness to be an exceptionally strong predictor of overall trust in government. In the years since, Tyler and others have demonstrated repeatedly the close relationship between perceived fairness and trust in authorities (see e.g. Tyler, 1984, 1987, 1990, 1997; Tyler & Caine, 1981; Tyler & Degoey, 1996; Tyler, Goff, & MacCoun, 2015; Tyler & Lind, 1992; Tyler, Rasinski, & Spodick, 1985). The link is seen not only in the political and citizen-state encounter contexts that Tyler, Rasinski, & McGraw (1985) studied, but also in studies conducted in organizational contexts, in the laboratory and in other social settings. In this chapter, I will explore some organizational justice research and theory that involve particularly close links to trust and trusting behaviour. 1

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