Chapter Seven

Trust in Organizations

Few would disagree that organizational trust is important and useful, but the challenge lies in how to create trust and sustain it in an environment of change, risk, and uncertainty. At the heart of this challenge is the difference between treating the symptoms of distrust as opposed to addressing the systemic root causes. High-trust organizations embed trustworthiness into the very fabric of their organizational architecture and behavior, not merely in one or two places or subsystems. Nearly all of the major corporate scandals from Enron to Lehman Brothers occurred in firms that had ethics training and codes of conduct. Trust must be fundamental to how the organization operates as a whole.

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