Definition of Trust

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Definition of Trust
Stephen P. Czerniak
University of Phoenix, Troy Learning Center
HRM 565 Human Resources Management
Instructor: Charles A. Zajac
Group ID: TRGRAD26
Assignment Due: Workshop 2
September 12, 2006
Revised September 21, 2006
Definition of Trust
Much has been written about the subject of trust. For the purposes of this paper, we will consider trust in the context of forming the foundation of the relationship between a supervisor or leader and their employee. Since the supervisor or leader is the representative of the organization, this also represents the trust between the organization and the employee. In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Lencioni (2002) tells us that “trust is the foundation of real teamwork” (p. 43). Many companies have used, and continue to use, a team-based organizational structure. Welter and Smallbone (2006) remind us to be cautious because “trust is based on a perception of the probability that other agents will behave in a way that is expected.” Anytime one is involving human beings in a process, predictability of behavior is somewhat questionable. Companies use a variety of methodologies to introduce the benefits of documented processes and the attendant repeatability. The Capability Maturity Model is used by many major firms to measure their organizational processes and systems against an industry standard (Capability, 2002). The People Capability Maturity Model says that “trust also gives managers the confidence they need to empower workgroups. When managers trust the capability of both the people and the competency-based processes they are using, they are ready to empower workgroups” (Curtis, 2001, p.44). This is very powerful within the greater concept of Earned Empowerment. The steps in empowering individuals and teams will be explored based on the foundation of trust. But what is trust? McShane and Von Glinow (2005) offer a definition that trust is “a psychological state...
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