Title: Flows, bridges and brokers: exploring the development of trust relations in a distributed work group

Authors: Tom Erik Julsrud

Addresses: Department of Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway Telenor Research and Innovation, Snaroyveien 30, N-1331 Fornebu, Norway

Abstract: During the last few decades several important empirical studies have documented that trust is important for the efficiency of distributed groups (Piccoli and Ives, 2003; Wilson et al., 2006). It has also been documented that more task-oriented forms of trust (i.e., swift trust) develop more easily in such teams than affective trust forms (Meyerson et al., 1996; Jarvenpaa and Leidner, 1999; Kanawattanachai and Yoo, 2002). More poorly understood are the underlying mechanisms that generate different types of trust within distributed groups in the first place. In this article, findings from a study of affective and cognitive trust relations in a group of distributed engineers are presented, and it is demonstrated how these trust forms followed slightly different patterns. The findings indicate that |trust brokering| occurred along both dimensions and that these activities were crucial for the development of trust in the group.

Keywords: interpersonal trust; active trust; distributed work groups; trust brokers; social networks; networking; distributed engineers; affective trust relations; cognitive trust relations.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNVO.2008.016004

International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations, 2008 Vol.5 No.1, pp.83 - 102

Published online: 02 Dec 2007 *

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