1 The Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University2 Organisations, Change and Management, The Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University3 Management and organization, Department of Social Sciences and Business, Roskilde University
A growing body of literature point to the increasing importance of trust for organizations and for the explicit use of trust as a management tool. The explicit or implicit message in both management literature and research literature on trust as a management tool is that managers should pursue projects of personal and organizational change leading to high-trust organizations. In this paper I explore how we may understand this change towards high-trust organizations: What does it mean, what is the content of such a change, and what may be the consequences. I show that it is still rather unclear what the notion of high-trust organization actually means, and that the change process in the direction of high trust organizations involves not only a quantitative growth in trust, but may involve important qualitative changes in the organization, especially concerning the relations between management and employees. An especially important issue is the trust/self-control nexus. Following this analysis it may be argued that the distinction low versus high-trust is much more complex and involves radical changes in organizational culture and identity than assumed by most management literature on trust a new management tool.