General models for trust development in organisations suggest a linear path founded on three bases (calculus, knowledge, identification). Seeking to capture a more dynamic nature for the trust development pathway, this study focuses on the role of organisational culture in shaping these paths by conveying sensemaking processes. Through exploratory group interviews, we examined how trust can be boosted or weakened among senior and newcomer members of two Italian social enterprises (NPSEs) as organisational contexts whose core values make trust a valuable relational asset. Our in-depth analysis of key trust processes showed that the NPSE members refer principally to a non-linear path of trust-building in their professional experience, and acknowledge the knowledge base as the starting point for, and the main source of, trust. Two other processes for implementing trust also emerged, the spillover of trust capabilities to other kinds of relationships, and their leaders’ ability to establish organisational routines that can consolidate trust. Overall, our findings contribute to connecting trust-building dynamics to broader organisational culture, highlighting specific routines and practices – intentional as well as informal – that encourage their members to learn to trust. Applicative implications for building trust in workplaces are discussed.

Learning to trust in social enterprises: the contribution of organisational culture to trust dynamics

Barbieri, Barbara
2022-01-01

Abstract

General models for trust development in organisations suggest a linear path founded on three bases (calculus, knowledge, identification). Seeking to capture a more dynamic nature for the trust development pathway, this study focuses on the role of organisational culture in shaping these paths by conveying sensemaking processes. Through exploratory group interviews, we examined how trust can be boosted or weakened among senior and newcomer members of two Italian social enterprises (NPSEs) as organisational contexts whose core values make trust a valuable relational asset. Our in-depth analysis of key trust processes showed that the NPSE members refer principally to a non-linear path of trust-building in their professional experience, and acknowledge the knowledge base as the starting point for, and the main source of, trust. Two other processes for implementing trust also emerged, the spillover of trust capabilities to other kinds of relationships, and their leaders’ ability to establish organisational routines that can consolidate trust. Overall, our findings contribute to connecting trust-building dynamics to broader organisational culture, highlighting specific routines and practices – intentional as well as informal – that encourage their members to learn to trust. Applicative implications for building trust in workplaces are discussed.
2022
Trust; Non-profit organisations; Social enterprises; Learning to trust; Focus group; Organisational culture; Newcomers’ socialisation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/344994
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