Collaborating in the Absence of Trust? What Collaborative Governance Theory and Practice Can Learn From the Literatures of Conflict Resolution, Psychology, and Law
Political Science and International Affairs
Trust is often touted as both an element of success and an outcome of interest in collaboration research, usually without defining the term or acknowledging the possibility of collaborating when trust is diminished or absent. This article broadens our theoretical understanding of the concept of trust, and the ability to collaborate in the absence of trust, by looking at it through the lenses of conflict resolution, psychology, and law. The disciplines examined in this article emphasize diverse approaches to examining trust on the interpersonal, interorganizational, and regime levels. While agreeing that trust is an asset, these disciplines also offer practical strategies for collaborating when trust is diminished or absent. Drawing on the theory and literature of conflict resolution, psychology, and law, we offer the following definition of collaborative trust: Collaborative trust is an individual perception that is the product of one’s assessments, experiences, and dispositions, in which one believes, and is willing to act on, the words, actions, and decisions of others. This can include a reliance on principles, rules, norms, and decision-making procedures that articulate collective expectations.
The American Review of Public Administration
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