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date: 18 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the role of trust as a determinant of cooperative behavior in social relations and social organizations. It begins with an overview of some issues of definition, scope, and measurement of trust, followed by discussion of the dimensions of trust and trustworthiness. It then reviews some evidence on the role of trust in social relations and social organizations before analyzing the main and moderating effects of trust in the context of organizations. It also explores the macro-level consequences of trust for society as well as the negative impact of trust networks. Finally, it looks at a number of alternatives to trust and suggests directions for future research. The article argues that trust is only one mechanism by which we motivate cooperation and manage social order and that the role of trust in society has been radically oversold as a necessary and wholly positive force.

Keywords: trust, cooperative behavior, social relations, social organizations, trustworthiness, trust networks, cooperation, social order

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