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Trust and Partnership: Strategic IT Management for Turbulent Times by Robert J. Benson

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CHAPTER 3

A Staircase to Trust

In this chapter, we focus on trust as a key condition for effective business–IT collaboration. In the first section, the discussion starts by defining trust and continues with an analysis of the different dimensions of trust, and how trust affects business performance. An important question for business–IT collaboration is whether trust can be built intentionally and, if not, how the creation of trust can be supported actively. Trust between business functions and IT constitutes organizational trust. The discussion in Chapters 1 and 2 begets the question: To what extent does personal trust interact with organizational trust?

A compelling basis for trust is competent past performance. Inspired by the work of Abraham Maslow and his hierarchy of needs, in Part II we expand on the staircase model of IT performance and needed capabilities. Each stair represents a level of IT business needs that have to be met, ranging from operational support to strategic innovation. Each level also represents a different intensity of business–IT collaboration. Higher levels of collaboration depend on increasing levels of trust created in previous stair steps.

What Is Trust?

The saying, “No trade without trust,” indicates, in a concise way, the crucial role trust plays in business. And, of course, this occurs not only in business: No sustainable interpersonal relationship can develop in the absence of mutual trust. Trust is a key factor in any situation where people ...

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