The Process of Trust Development: A Case Study of an Empowerment Project

Søren Jagd, Jeppe Højland

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    Trust is critical for the quality of social interaction especially in organisations based on employee cooperation and empowerment. An important question is how organisations pass from a situation with low trust between management and employees and among employees to a situation characterised by high trust and co-operation? In this paper we explore the process of trust development during an organisational change project in a Danish SME by looking at two kinds of trust relations: employee trust in management and trust relations among employees. We find substantial differences in trust in management among employees. Trust is found to be higher among employees interacting regularly with managers, as in the project coordination group. It is found that personal relations are very important for the development of trust. The success of the project may be explained by the involvement of an ‘elite group' of employees in the project coordination group, by a change of attitude towards employees by management during the project, by the specific actions taken by management as a response to employee complains and by the creation of occasions such as employee seminars where employees can meet and discuss with colleagues from other departments and develop personal knowledge of each other.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2007
    Number of pages26
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    Event4th Workshop on Trust Within and Between Organizations - Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Duration: 25 Oct 200726 Oct 2007
    Conference number: 4


    Conference4th Workshop on Trust Within and Between Organizations


    • trust
    • employees
    • empowerment

    Cite this