GPM First
Chapter 2 of Trust in Virtual Teams (978-1-4094-5361-1) by Thomas P. Wise

Why Talk about Trust?


Trust is essential in team formation and considered by some to be the basis of the Tuckman team development model formation phase, and an essential element in the development of effective virtual teams. When managing knowledge workers, Glen (2003) tells us, it is often hard to tell when they are working and when they are taking a break. Work in the modern office may include hours of confined, heads down, contemplation, followed by bursts of energetic code development, project outlines, phone calls, meetings, and online chats. In classic management style, we as managers are asked to make a determination as to whether value is added by team members whose value is in the form of abstract knowledge content. Team members participating as knowledge workers will often form a large portion, and in some cases the entirety, of many project teams. Further, with workers capable of contributing from anywhere in the world, participating in a virtual work environment, trust is often the only link between team mates.

A project team will have many cultures, many roles, and many personalities. As teams form they will seek ways in which they can gather information about their peers. This information will likely include their first impressions and the impressions of others as they try to develop a sense of similarities and differences. Team members will begin to form a set of desires regarding sub-groupings around attributes such skills, patterns of behavior, as well as tangibles such as task preferences and responsibilities. In order for this to happen effectively team members will need a degree of trust to support the information discovery phase that begins in team formation. The team formation phase is often complicated by project variables such as complexity, scale, and geography.

While in the early stages of team development, team members will tend to avoid the difficult questions and conflicts. As teams begin to take shape, members learn to interact with one another and team processes and roles mature. During this maturing process team members will find that conflicts will come. Priorities and project complexity will change with the level of team maturity and growth increasing the potential for conflict. Individual and team contributions will vary in complexity and size, as well as priority, and with these variables often come conflict and questions. Managers must be able not only to manage the questions and fears that arise, but also to avoid the unnecessary interruptions to project delivery that may come with them. In order to move the team beyond this stage, relationships must form to effectively deal with and resolve conflicts. Establishing both a trust relationship and an effective virtual work environment, based on that trust, is critical to reducing project risks.

In the modern office, although virtuality has traditionally been defined by distance, it is not necessarily dependent upon distance. All of us have experienced co-workers sitting on the other side of a cubicle wall working silently, and separate, and yet together on a project deliverable. The silence can be deafening as the peers and team mates use instant messaging (IM); build expert MSPowerPoints and MSVisio diagrams and email their work to one another to share their thoughts. In many cases the output of the project may be the gathering, analysis, synthesizing, and rendering of complex knowledge in a digestible form necessary to support or even define the elements of another dependent, and yet just as complex project.

Responses and thoughts relay from one knowledge contributor to another, building in complexity as the project priority shifts, and therefore leadership roles and participation levels change. Project outputs in the form of electronic documents such as MSVisio are instantly shipped to the next contributor to land upon their virtual desk top somewhere in the world. This somewhere may be one floor above or below, a cubicle row to the left or right, or perhaps across two time zones as the project progresses. With the capability of follow the sun project contributions, a single project thread may follow a 24-hour cycle to continue processing in London or Philadelphia where the process is once again picked up and repeated, passed across the office floor in silence, then on to Chicago and Los Angeles and Hong Kong as the sun moves westward.

Even very simple projects can be quickly derailed if there is a breakdown of trust in this virtual world. A project, by a commonly held definition, is an undertaking by one or more individuals that shares the basic elements of contemplation and planning, requiring resources of investment, people, and materials. This undertaking must be accomplished within defined constraints that include a specific beginning and end date. Project constraints are defined by project stakeholders, which may include investors, corporate leaders, product owners, and end users, and project managers and team members of dependent projects. Most projects have, based on the current paradigm, a named leader or project manager who must coordinate the basic elements of the project and provide guidance and delegation in order to accomplish the defined tasks.

When a manager seeks to delegate, the very definition of delegation requires that the manager release to the delegate the authority to accomplish the task within the defined constraints. The act of delegating is the act of releasing or sending a representative in your stead to act upon the desires of the sender. This act of sending one’s representative requires a high degree of trust in the capabilities and integrity of the one sent. The project manager in this case is the sender, therefore becoming an enabler, identifying and clearing the way for the team’s success.

Often, when project managers first begin to work with new teams, communication with this team may tend to be short, direct, and demanding, and may not leave any room for questioning and clarification. Sometimes, and perhaps due to the constraints in time and resources, project managers are playing a dual role in the project. In a recent study it was found that approximately 88 percent of project managers split their time between their project manager responsibilities and other roles such as developer or analyst. With demanding time restraints that may result in splitting time and dual roles, trust becomes an even greater element in the project environment.

Information may become unidirectional, and silence may be believed to imply understanding. As trust develops team members are more willing to ask the hard questions of one another. They become more willing to challenge the basic paradigms and find new and potentially better ways of getting work done, and become creative in problem solving. As senders and delegators build a strong trust relationship with their team members, and team members believe they have the authority to act and make decisions, they are no longer constrained to doing exactly what the project manager would ask, but rather are enabled to do what is needed. They become capable and willing to go beyond explicit direction.

Managers are often building teams with actors they may know only by name and reputation, or possibly, simply by position. Team members join a project as need for specialized skills arise, and often leave the team as their work completes. Team members may join a project from many different locations around the world. Each of them bring to the table differences in family culture, education, training, and past experiences, as well as differing levels of language skills and familiarity with organizational procedures. What may become a continuous stream of new names and personalities, while necessary to maintain progress and relevant skills, can become an additional challenge in building an effective team. Each time a change occurs in the team structure or membership, the potential for the team to regress in maturity does exist.

Trust, therefore, becomes an essential element in team resiliency. Team members that join a project because of a specialized skill or role may retain other responsibilities with other projects and teams. This may create conflicts in priorities and potentially conflicts in roles and responsibilities within the team due to varying expectations held by team members regarding levels of commitment or task responsibility. Strong trust relationships allow team members and leaders to effectively negotiate team responsibilities and levels of commitment, as well as task assignments and member activities. It is healthy and strong trust relationships that allow the team to quickly renegotiate and resolve real and potential conflicts and move rapidly through the team building phases to arrive at strong, high performing teams.

In this environment, some team members may be capable of joining a team, and prescribing trust quickly. This means that team members have assumed trust to be the most logical course of action to take based on the available information, rather than on personal experience. Assuming a trusting relationship is often called swift trust (Jarvenpaa & Leidner, 1998). Swift trust, or the ability to join a team, establish a trust based relationship with team members, and pull together in a cohesive and organized fashion when speed is of the essence, is often enhanced through contracts providing stability to the relationship. This type of relationship is often supported through contracts by formalizing the rules of engagement by which the team will function through the use of documented practices and responsibilities within the contract. Additionally, swift trust is often dependent upon the assumption that a future relationship may be available based on the outcome or success of the current engagement. This too is effectively supported through the establishment of a long term partnership or perhaps a series of potential contracts defined as part of the current contractual relationship. Such stabilizing agreements are often effective in supporting team trust needs.

Swift trust, however, cannot be counted on to provide the kind of trust that enhances long term organizational capability. It works well when pulling key resources and talents into your project from outside consulting firms; not least because consulting firms that specialize in team augmentation or project outsourcing often have the kind of virtual team experience that sets the stage for swift trust to form. Staff augmentation specialists will often seek out long term relationships with companies by developing skills clients require, thus creating within the organization a positive expectation that you will return again when the need arises. These team members join the project knowing they are not expected to stay on the team, but will leave, join another team, and return to your team when you need them. Full time employees, who are more used to semi-permanent relationships, may find establishing swift trust more challenging in situations when the relationships are loose and changing.

The Seeds of Trust

In the past, as work teams came together in the typical, traditional project environment of co-located teams, team members had the opportunity to meet periodically during the day; brief talks around the coffee machine allowed camaraderie to build. Team members could establish rapport informally and develop a relationship that promotes self-disclosure and the sharing of personal information. In this way the seeds of relationships were sown, and trust could grow on a one to one basis. Team members in this environment were able to look at one another as they learned their role, and discovered their similarities and differences. Conversations around the coffee pot, or perhaps the microwave oven, allowed for both visual and verbal feedback to reinforce first impressions. They had the opportunity to reflect upon their team member’s physical, as well as verbal reaction to a conversation. During the conversation participants had the chance to adjust their presentation based on immediate visual cues, or perhaps even adjust their behavior or personal appearance as desired based on feedback allowing team members to build rapport over time. The seeds of trust in this way often require constant care and nourishment to flourish and grow.

The relationship building process in the virtual environment is often accelerated by the business necessity that prompted the relationship. Team members may be thrust into their team with their project role often defined by their contract. These teams may have little contact outside of the electronic communications established for the project such as chat rooms, IM, and email. Some teams rely upon automated reports of progress, and daily assignments as their primary means of communication. Communication entirely through the use of electronic media, by eliminating the human interaction that allows for the natural feedback of face to face relationships, can if one is not careful create the illusion of communication, when in fact communication has not taken place.

Communication and Trust

How do we define successful communication? Remember your first 100 level college class in communications? At that time your professor probably defined the goal of communication as developing a shared understanding of the information. This means that both the sender and the receiver of the information have reached the same, or at least synonymous, conclusions regarding the meaning of the information. Information flow should contain a path that supports the delivery of the initial information and feedback for the information to be truly communicated. If we accept the basic goal of communication as understanding, then information flow is essentially bi-directional. There must be a sender and a receiver, and there must be reciprocation that includes an indication that what was received was understood for communication to have happened.

When a message is necessary, such as the delegation of activities or tasks, the sender of the message chooses what they believe to be the best channel of communication. Often we believe as managers that we have communicated, and yet we only send information in one direction. Effective messaging requires the sender to select a channel, or means of message delivery, that fully supports developing a shared understanding. Channels may be verbal, non-verbal, or written in order to properly prepare the message for delivery.

Verbal messaging may be either face to face, radio, television, or perhaps a webinar or video conference bridge when the audience is large. Non-verbal messaging includes channels such as body language, posture, how we act in a situation, the clothes we wear, the scent we choose, or the environment we create in our work space. Written messaging may be in the form of chat rooms, IM, email, snail mail, automated reporting, and text message to name those means that seem to be the most prevalent. Each of the primary communication channels may be effective when properly chosen and implemented; however in a virtual setting the non-verbal messaging is very often muted at best, and eliminated at worst.

Project team communication in the past was overwhelmingly a synchronous exercise that blurred the role of sender and receiver. Both parties in a face to face communication event were often continuously engaged in communication by simultaneously acting and reacting, thus providing immediate feedback through non-verbal means of eye contact and body language regarding the effectiveness of the message. As teams moved to a virtual setting, the primary means of communication has become asynchronous in nature utilizing written communication as the primary messaging channel. While written communication has become essentially instantaneous through the use of internet based channels such as email, chat rooms, and IM, it has remained asynchronous with a defined sender and receiver acting and reacting independently. While message delivery in the virtual setting is often instantaneous, it may also create periods of silence as priorities remove the responder from the message flow and possible geographic separation of teams expand across time zones.

Figure 2.1 Uni-directional information flow


Geographic separation alone may create periods of silence that stretch from hours to days, or even weeks at a time depending upon the timing of the message. With the addition of geographic separation, often this includes a greater probability of multiple cultures. Adding multicultural teams to the mix may include unexpected gaps in communication due to shifting work schedules, or perhaps even conflicting work schedules due to culturally specific holidays. Teams must learn to adapt their communication skills to avoid, or at minimum account for gaps in the flow of communication.

As teams form a virtual environment the time line to get to know one another is often compressed. Team members don’t have the luxury of getting to know one another during breaks in the day, and therefore may not get to know one another’s likes and dislikes, schedules, or family habits. With the lack of relationship building may come new challenges in the communication process. Silences may be misinterpreted due to differences in cultural habits. What may be considered a long silence to someone in Philadelphia, may be perceived as perfectly reasonable to a team member elsewhere in the world. Perceived long periods of silence may cause trust to wilt, and team members to fill in the information gaps on their own. Periods of silence, and a lack of response, or uneven communications may be interpreted wrongly by team members that are working remotely from the rest of the team. Gaps in the information stream may cause remote team members to speculate on why the gap exists, and to create a narrative that, rightly or wrongly, fills the gap and damages trust.

Communication and the Team Building Process

Managers need to account for the new challenges in the virtual team communication that may affect the team building process. As teams form, we need to create the time and means by which team members may talk, break the ice, and seek reciprocation and feedback in the discussion. Managers may need to establish a formalized means by which teams come together in an asynchronous format for information discovery. As teams move through the stages of team development the information needs change. Teams in the formation stage require information that supports the development of team norms. By developing norms such as expectations around channels and pace of communication team members can adapt to their new team much the same as collocated teams.

Once effective communication norms are established, the virtual team will be better able to negotiate through the storming phase as they sort out their individual roles, and degrees of freedom to act independently and autonomously. All too often in a virtual setting the level of information sharing is left to contractual agreements as a means of navigating the cultural differences between work groups. We need to open ourselves to a healthy communication process.

What Is a Solid Trust Model?

The theory of trust is examined using three base points in the construction of a collective model to reflect trust in relation to the organization, project team, and team members. Cognitive based trust, personality based trust, and institutional based trust, combine to create a collective measure of trust as presented by Sarker, Valacich, and Sarker in their 2003 study. Trust may take on several forms, as a belief, a decision, an action, and, as indicated in early studies, may vary in degree by gender; however from the perspective of the co-located and global information (IT) team is wholly dependent upon the interaction of three primary base points. These base points may be collectively defined as the three distinct areas of personality based trust, or trust developed during the earliest beginning of personality development, institutional based trust, or that which is dependent upon the degree to which corporate environment, procedures, and policies, may be consistently and cooperatively applied and depended upon as equitable, and cognitive based trust, or that trust which we choose to prescribe based on past, current, or perceived future engagement.

Figure 2.2 Framework of effective communication


Personality Based Trust is the Foundation

The first layer, relationships, or personality based trust, is the trust which our mothers taught us. “Share with your friends” our moms would tell us. Remember when mom would tell you, if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. This was good for opening doors, and building friendships, but not necessarily good for building trust. Personality based trust has long been described as a developmental reaction to the care provided by the caregiver in the earliest days of life in which the formation of trust through experience is established. As we experience consistency in care giving, and equity in our relationships with parents and siblings, a personality is developed that describes an internal identification of what trust means. In the corporate setting, an individual’s personality will be expressed in relationships, and the degree to which the team member may be willing or even able to express trust. Trust is situational, therefore, in nature, and may in part be conditional to specifically related parties, such as within one’s own level of trustworthiness, or may in part be related to the individual’s own personality traits regarding suspicion of the actions of others.

Personality based trust may affect the acceptance of certain types of communication media, such as in the case of written messages. In early studies, researchers discovered that those individuals with higher levels of personality based trust are much more likely to accept as truth the written word. Where trust exists, so does acceptance of individuals to the team, and therefore openness of expression strengthening and promoting the opportunity for vulnerability and self-disclosure. Maintaining a level of perceived positive reciprocation of communication and self-disclosure is necessary to maintain the level of closeness obtained in the relationship.

Relationship trust is built on open communications that allow people to relate to one another about everything from fantasy football, their favorite online games, Facebook, and work life struggles or family illnesses. It is the shared reality of community that builds up trust on a daily basis, and it is often overlooked by managers and leaders in the work community. It is building in the one to one and one to many relationships that set a foundation for trust across the vast virtual expanse that can build up across the cubicle hallways.

Figure 2.3 Personality based trust as the first layer


Rotter, in 1971, told us that for trust to exist there must be a general expectation of fulfillment, meaning that even when a behavior is threatening it must be carried out for trust to be present. The fear of honest communication with peers, superiors, or employees often stops the foundational layer of personality based trust from growing thick and strong. No one likes to deliver bad news, and many of us hesitate to expose our feelings to peers, superiors, or employees in fear of exposing a flaw that, in the end, really simply makes us human.

In the world of knowledge workers this fear may take on an even more threatening form. It is often the fear of someone discovering that we don’t know everything, for in the world of knowledge based work it is knowledge that establishes our value in the work place. Knowledge is not just power, it is the very asset we bring to the company and to those very peers, superiors, and employees with whom we need to establish a trusting relationship.

Every team is established for one purpose, and that purpose is high performance. Very few people are ever hired for the purpose of building friendships, and few people are working because work is their hobby. There is always someone in every work place that will tell you they don’t need to be there, but the reality of the situation is, if they don’t get paid, they won’t stay. Work is not their hobby. Performance is therefore the goal of every team. Whetten and Cameron have described performance as the product of the team member’s ability and their motivation, and that motivation is a product of the team member’s desire and commitment (1995). Commitment is therefore essential to the effectiveness of team performance. Commitment may, however, be both positively and negatively impacted by communication, identification of one’s self as a team member, self-disclosure, and self-categorization, and therefore affect the performance of the team.

So what are self-categorization, team membership, and self-disclosure? These terms refer to how an individual may view their own place in a group or work team. Everyone, at one time or other, will look around the work place and seek to understand how and where they fit. Everyone asks the question “Am I a valued member of this group?” “Am I a member of this work family?” asks the question of whether or not the team member is connected to the other team members, or naturally within the protected group (Halgin, 2009). Connectedness is a term then that answers the question for an individual of whether they identify themselves as a member of the group. It is a sense that an individual senses their belonging, and identifies self with the group when they think about who they really are.

The question for managers is, can we develop a group membership by which peers, superiors, and employees may define themselves as a member of the work team or group? How do we define a group in which membership and connectedness is valued? Communications, reciprocation, and disclosure of oneself to other team members can build an effective foundational layer of trust that allows for a connectedness that draws team members to identify self with the group, establishing a strong relationship that builds trust. This trust establishes an open channel of communication that allows both good and bad messages to flow, and creates the basis for laying down the remaining layers of a solid trust base.

Cognitive Based Trust Depends Upon Information Access

It is hard to find work teams these days that are not, to some extent, acting as virtual teams. Teams are commonly defined as a group of individuals that come together to accomplish a specified task or series of activities that are linked by common goals. Teams will normally work their way through a series of events and problems, and will be challenged to find sometimes unique and often creative ways to resolve these problems in order to maintain progress and stay on schedule within defined constraints. When we add to this the idea of virtuality, we need to understand the unique challenges that virtuality may entail.

Virtuality can be defined as giving the image, likeness, or simulation of the reality of the object, situation, or environment. In this case, the term virtual would then imply that a virtual team is in many ways being given the appearance of a team, or in some way simulating the actions of a team. If we add to this definition the word project, which by definition implies a set beginning and end, with the understanding that virtuality implies a likeness of the reality, then this group of individuals forming a virtual team may be said to have accepted the challenge of accomplishing a set of related or like goals, within a generally defined time and set of constraints, while being provided an environment that somewhat approximates the environment normally afforded a team.

If we accept that virtuality creates the likeness or simulation of the reality, then virtual teams may be expected to be challenged by situations such as having the likeness or simulation of clarity in their roles, norms, constraints, and processes, as well as somewhat undefined boundaries. Virtual teams are normally challenged in having some team members separated by geography, and most team members communicating through electronic technologies. Geographic separation can include different floors in the same building, different buildings in the same campus, or simply a chosen preferred communication style that creates a degree of separation in the same office space.

When we talk about cognitive based trust, we are talking about the act of coming to know a situation, person, or group to such a degree that we believe we have enough information to make a decision to trust, or not trust. Cognition may commonly be defined as the act of knowing, or the process of coming to know. In the case of virtual team environments, as a result of separation, either through geographic challenges, or simply through the way in which team members may act, the process of coming to know the team and team members is often hampered. Because of this separation even collocated teams that work in a virtual manner tend to rely on cognitive trust, and may be highly virtual and dependent on mediated communication. It is perhaps the reliance on electronic means that cause the team to seek information by which a decision may be made to trust, rather than relying on the personality based processes such as relationships.

Figure 2.4 Cognitive based trust as a second layer


In order to establish cognitive based trust, team members need information about their co-workers. They need to be able to make sense of this information both in order to assess whether their colleagues are trustworthy and to form an expectation of the nature of their future relationships. In the traditional work place rapport and communication was established informally and over time. In the new (and virtual) work environment, where there is little or no opportunity for old-fashioned rapport building, the absence or poor quality of communication is often cited as the first thing managers should improve.

Team members learn to trust one another as they come together to work. As they reach for common goals they form interdependencies and begin to establish their membership, or family, in the group (Fabiansson, 2007). Family is often described as that sense of belonging and common history that forms a lasting bond capable of surviving the challenges and problems that teams may face. It is a sense of being connected by a common vision and sense of purpose. A sense of family, or connectedness, provides for the expectation of a shared future in their membership, lowers the sense of vulnerability in the group, and opens channels for self-disclosure. Thus, having a sense of family, of being connected and coming together to face adversity with the members of the team, provides for greater opportunity in self-disclosure that offers opportunity to enhance the gathering of information such that a decision may be made to trust the members of the team. As team members work through adversity, they come to know one another’s strengths and weaknesses, and build expectations regarding each other’s capabilities and modes of operation. Over time, team members are able to build a strong and healthy reputation that may precede future work engagements.

Reputation development within the team may further enhance the feeling of being connected to the group. Over time, members may strengthen their role and connection with the group through daily activities and the process of reinforcing expectations of themselves. The day to day give and take of working on a team has a way of solidifying one’s place within a group by a continuous process of knowledge development. Reciprocation, or give and take, is the process of interaction that team members use when providing personal information.

A final note in cognitive based trust development is the managing of stereotypes. Stereotyping occurs much more often than any of us would like to believe. These stereotypes must be managed on a daily basis by team members to avoid team member assumptions being formed on the way one is dressed, how they speak, or some other trait. We all must manage our impressions of one another on an active basis to affect an image that we are all consistent and rational as individuals and capable of fulfilling our team role. As teams form in a virtual environment the process and time to build trust among team members is shortened, and may be highly dependent upon one’s reputation. Team members are often confined by circumstance to depend on our past experience of team members’ work, or the experience of others within the organization with an individual or group as a means of establishing trust. The establishment of trust may, in a virtual team, be initially dependent upon the generic stereotypes developed over time regarding a group, and therefore non-stereotypical behavior may undermine the development of trust.

Institutional Based Trust is a Corporate Issue

We, as managers, often seem to think that employee behavior is driven by the rules, values, and generally accepted interactions of the organization in which they work. One point that is often misunderstood is the idea that what happens in the office always has three distinct perspectives. What the company thinks is happening is the first perspective, what the managers believe is happening is the second perspective, and what the employees are really doing to get work done is the third perspective.

What the company wants to happen is often driven by the strategic planning process. Within the strategic planning process should be the set of human resource policies that include elements of change management to ensure that what managers believe workers are doing, and how work actually gets done, aligns with what the company wants to accomplish. As managers we build processes, guidelines, and work instructions that we intend to lead the way in which people accomplish their work. This is intended, for the most part, to ensure that work is repeatable and measurable in hopes of ensuring that work practices are the same across projects and independent work groups. By providing these guidelines, we as managers hope to make our programs predictable.

At the level in which work is actually accomplished, employees realize that the actual practice of getting work done is a continuous negotiation of very specific daily priorities. This includes the negotiation for basic scarce resources such as printer time, server time, project team members, and the attention of individuals that may be considered subject matter experts (SMEs) to identify and resolve the more difficult aspects of the daily just get it done priorities. As a result of this, what may happen at any given moment may not match what the managers and companies believe will happen to accomplish a task. This problem can have a strong tendency to affect the perceptions of equity across work groups, projects, and individual team members in the application of organizational procedures.

As individuals compete in the negotiation process, or perhaps simply in the accomplishment of their daily project tasks, issues of equity may impact the level of conflict within a team. As team members look around, and perhaps find that they are falling behind in the project while adhering to the expectations set by managers regarding the performance of their work according to the prescribed procedures, and perhaps other teams or team members are getting ahead while bending these rules, questions of equality in practice may arise. Perhaps as teams or team members are rewarded for bending the rules in order to remain on schedule, and other teams or team members may be punished for the same practice, this too may raise questions regarding equal application of the rules. As time pressures build on a project, it is often the practice for teams to work overtime and weekends to make up for slips in the project schedule. Differences that may arise in work practices, such as the differences in cultural attributes that include national holidays, religious observation of holy days, length of the work days, and practices regarding leadership and conflict resolution, may have an effect on teams as they work extra hours and days to accomplish the project. One of the major challenges in teams that work virtually is the higher likelihood that these teams will consist of multiple cultures with differing levels of expectation regarding adherence to procedures and guidelines.

Predictability, or the degree to which leaders consistently reward behaviors that support the achievement of goals, and the degree to which desired values and norms are reinforced, enhance institutional trust (Gillespie & Mann, 2004). This means that predictability and reinforcement of expectations does not always need to be a positive experience, and that maintaining the expected corporate order is a large part of predictability. Just as our parents taught us, and we have taught those around us, good behavior needs to be reinforced, and bad behavior needs to be extinguished. These simple rules maintain equity, and build institutional trust.

In the situation of cross-cultural teams the process of feedback and reinforcement may be confounded by differences in culture or organizational position, as in many cases in which the collective nature of the culture may hinder the process of negative feedback (Garza & Lipton, 1978). Collocated team members’ development of trust is also significantly identified with perceptions regarding equitable decision making, and may additionally have an effect on pride and respect further affecting the processes of vulnerability and self-disclosure necessary for the first two layers of trust to develop and strengthen (Lipponen, Olkkonen & Myyry, 2004).

Figure 2.5 Institutional based trust as the third layer


As you continue to read, I think we are now ready to develop solid, real life means by which a manager can create a positive environment for trust, and effective practices by which trust is strengthened and maintained.

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