Trust in Interpersonal

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Trust in Interpersonal Relationships

Interpersonal relationship has been defined as long-term relationship between two or more people (Baumeister & Leary, 1995). The key word in this definition is long term. This long-term relationship applies between friends, acquaintances, or even in business relationships. Psychologists have suggested that trust is needed to form and maintain interpersonal relationship (Baumeister & Leary, 1995). Since the growing trend is working in a team environment, trusting in others is very important (Manz & Sims, 1993). Trust provides the foundation to effective communication, which leads to employee motivation and business success. According to Covey (2008), distrust “doubles the costs of doing business and triples the time it takes to get things done.” Knowing the bare information about the team members, trust must be assume to start the communication. The ability to continue building a trusting environment would depends on each member’s perception of the other team members.

Merriam-Webster dictionary (2008) defines trust as “assured reliance on the character, ability, and strength of someone or something.” In the beginning of working relationships, trust must be assumed first because there would be no history among members to assure the character, ability, and strengths of the team members. As the working relationship progresses, team members must maintain and build on this trusting work environment to continue success in the organization. Levin, Whitener, & Cross (2006) stated that previous researches indicate that trust may be built on three different perceptions: demographic similarities, behaviors, and shared perspective.

First, trust may be built on perceived demographic similarities. According to Hogg and Terry (2000), individuals are motivated to trust others by finding demographic similarities “to reduce uncertainty and establish similarities and differences to enhance self-esteem and self-identity.” (as cited in...
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