Reciprocal Trust

A self-reinforcing dynamic process

Authored by: M. Audrey Korsgaard

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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Interpersonal trust is commonly defined as an individual’s willingness to be vulnerable to another party based on positive expectations of the actions of the other party (e.g. Mayer, Davis & Schoorman, 1995; Rousseau, Sitkin, Burt & Camerer, 1998). This definition of trust is unidirectional, underscoring the point that trust is a psychological state that originates within the individual. Yet, interpersonal trust occurs within a dyadic context, wherein parties voluntarily interact in ways that mutually benefit each other. Such relationships are characterized as social exchange relationships that extend beyond formal economic exchanges. Social exchange relationships often emerge in long-term work relationships, for example between leaders and followers (Mitchell, Cropanzano & Quisenberry, 2012) or buyers and suppliers (Poppo, Zhou & Ryo 2008), enriching the flow of resources between parties to the benefit of each party.

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