September 2004 Archives

"Where large sums of money are concerned, it is advisable to trust nobody"

-Agatha Christie

Introduction

In 1958 the American social psychologist, Merton Deutsch, described trust as a set of actions that increase one's vulnerability to the actions of another (Deutsch 1958).

These days, definitions focus more on the significance of trust for the proper economic and social function of modern society. Trust is seen as a set of logical expectations shared by all those involved in an economic exchange (Zucker 1986:50); it is a cultural resource that acts as a lubricant for economic growth, innovation, and is a precondition for successful technological change (Volken 2002).

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