On the Complexity of Organizational Trust: A Multi-level Co-Evolutionary Perspective and Guidelines for Future Research

By Steven C. Currall & Andrew C. Inkpen

During the past decade, scholars have made significant progress in the study of trust in
organizational settings. For instance, significant theoretical advances have been achieved
(e.g. Rousseau et al., 1998), as have empirical developments such as those published in special trust issues of Organization Science (McEvily et al., 2003) and Organization Studies (Bachmann et al., 2001). Despite this progress, however, ‘trust remains an under-theorized, under-researched, and, therefore, poorly understood phenomenon’ (Child, 2001: 274). The aim of this chapter is to spur research that moves beyond current theoretical and empirical approaches by using a multi-level and co-evolutionary framework for studying trust.