We speak with injured workers on a daily basis and the recurrent theme is the sense of violation they feel from hostile and uncaring employers, insurers and the system in general.
Trust is fragile and when violated can be extremely painful. Given my own background and training is in the social sciences I decided to research some of the definitions of ‘trust’ and came up with some truly insightful definitions. What I’ve gained from this little exercise has been fruitful – it helps to understand that the core issue for most (if not all) injured workers has to do with the violation of trust they once had but can no longer rely on.
This is, in my opinion, why injured workers find themselves caught in a never-ending Cycle of despair caused by an adversarial system
Injured workers are not crazy, they suffer from a lack of trust, and quite reasonably so.
Definitions of Trust
“Trust … is reliance on another’s good will … Where one depends on another’s good will, one is necessarily vulnerable to the limits of that good will. One leaves others an opportunity to harm one when one trusts, and also shows one’s confidence that they will not take it. Reasonable trust will require good grounds for such confidence in another’s good will, or at least the absence of good grounds for expecting their ill will or indifference. Trust then … is accepted vulnerability to another’s possible but not expected ill will (or lack of good will) toward one.”
“Trust … is letting other persons (natural or artificial, such as firms, nations, etc.) take care of something the trustor cares about, where such ‘caring for’ involves some exercise of discretionary powers.”
– A. Baier, “Trust and Antitrust,” Ethics, 96, 1986, pp. 234, 235, 240
Trust “is the mutual confidence that one’s vulnerability will not be exploited in an exchange.”
– J.B. Barney and M.H. Hansen, “Trustworthiness as a Source of Competitive Advantage,” Strategic Management Journal, 15 (Winter Special Issue), 1994, p. 177
“Trust is an expectation that alleviates the fear that one’s exchange partner will act opportunistically.”
– J.L. Bradach and R.G. Eccles, “Markets versus Hierarchies: From Ideal Types of Plural Forms,” in W.R. Scott (ed.), Annual Review of Sociology, 15, 1989, p. 104
“Trust is the expectation that arises within a community of regular, honest, and cooperative behavior, based on commonly shared norms, on the part of other members of that community.”
– F. Fukuyama, Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity, New York, NY: Free Press, 1995, p. 26
“Trust (or, symmetrically, distrust) is a particular level of the subjective probability with which an agent assesses that another agent or group of agents will perform a particular action, both before he can monitor such an action (or independently of his capacity ever to be able to monitor it) and in a context in which it affects his own action.”
– D. Gambetta, “Can We trust Trust?” in D. Gambetta (ed.), Trust: Making and Breaking Cooperative Relations, New York, NY:Basil Blackwell, 1988, p. 217
“Trust is the reliance by one person, group, or firm upon a voluntarily accepted duty on the part of another person, group, or firm to recognize and protect the rights and interests of all others engaged in a joint endeavor or economic exchange.”
Trust is “the expectation … of ethically justifiable behavior – that is, morally correct decisions and actions based upon ethical principles of analysis.”
– L.T. Hosmer, “Trust: The Connecting Link Between Organizational Theory and Philosophical Ethics,” Academy of Management Review, 20, 1995, p. 393, 399
“In the language of economics, trust can be viewed as an expectation, and it pertains to circumstances in which agents take risky actions in environments characterized by uncertainty or informational incompleteness. To say ‘A trusts B‘ means that A expects B will not exploit a vulnerability A has created for himself by taking the action.”
– H.S. James, Jr., “The Trust Paradox: A Survey of Economic Inquiries into the Nature of Trust and Trustworthiness,” Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 47(3), 2002, p. 291
“Trust can be defined as the belief or perception by one party (e.g. a principal) that the other party (e.g. an agent) to a particular transaction will not cheat, where the payoff structure internal to the transaction can be characterized by a prisoner’s dilemma or principal-agent game.”
– S. Knack, “Trust, Associational Life and Economic Performance,” J.F. Helliwell (ed.), The Contribution of Human and Social Capital to Sustained Economic Growth and Well-being, Quebec: Human Resources Develeopment Canada (HRDC) and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 2001, p. 175
Trust is the “undertaking of a risky course of action on the confident expectation that all persons involved in the action will act competently and dutifully.”
– J.D. Lewis and A. Weigert, “Trust as a Social Reality,” Social Forces, 63, 1985, 971
“Trust can be defined as the judgement one makes on the basis of one’s past interactions with others that they will seek to act in ways that favor one’s interests, rather than harm them, in circumstances that remain to be defined. Trusting judgements inevitably remain tentative, rather than certain, since they are based on a limited knowledge of others rather than a precise calculation of their interests.”
– E. Lorenz, “Trust, Contract and Economic Cooperation,” Cambridge Journal of Economics, 23, 1999, p. 305
Trust “is the perceived likelihood of the other not behaving in a self-interested manner.”
– A. Madhok, “Revisiting Multinational Firms’ Tolerance for Joint Ventures: A Trust-based Approach,” Journal of International Business Studies, 26(1), 1995, p. 120
Trust is “the willingness of a party to be vulnerable to the actions of another party based on the expectation that the other will perform a particular action important to the trustor.”
– R.C. Mayer, J.H. Davis, and F.D. Schoorman, “An Integrative Model of Organizational Trust,” Academy of Management Review, 20(3), 1995, p. 712
Trust is “the extent to which a person is confident in, and willing to act on the basis of, the words, actions, and decisions of another.”
– D.J. McAllister, “Affect- and Cognition-based Trust as Foundations for Interpersonal cooperation in organizations,” Academy of Management Journal, 38, 1995, p. 25
“Trust in things or people entails the willingness to submit to the risk that they may fail us, with the expectation that they will not, or the neglect or lack of awareness of the possibility that they might.”
“’Real’ trust, or trust in the strong sense, is an expectation that things or people will not fail us, or the neglect of lack of awareness of the possibility of failure, even if there are perceived opportunities and incentives for it.”
– B. Nooteboom, Trust: Forms, Foundations, Functions, Failures and Figures, Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2002, pp. 45, 48
Trust broadly defined is “the expectation that a partner will not engage in opportunistic behavior, for whatever reason, including control of his conduct.”
Trust more narrowly defined is “the expectation that a partner will not engage in opportunistic behavior, even in the face of short-term opportunities and incentives, in the absence of control.”
– B. Nooteboom, “Social Capital, Institutions and Trust,” Review of Social Economy, 65(1), 2007, p. 37.
“Trust is a psychological state comprising the intention to accept vulnerability based upon positive expectations of the intentions or behavior of another.”
– D.M. Rousseau, S.B. Sitkin, R.s. Burt, and C. Camerer, “Not So Different After All: A Cross-discipline View of Trust,” Academy of Management Review, 23, 1998, p. 395.
Trust is a person’s “expectations, assumptions, or beliefs about the likelihood that another’s future actions will be beneficial, favorable, or at least not detrimental to one’s interests.”
– S.L. Robinson, “Trust and Breach of the Psychological Contract,” Administrative Science Quarterly, 41, 1996, p. 576
“Trust is a state of mind, an expectation held by one trading partner about another, that the other behaves or responds in a predictable and mutually expected manner.”
– M. Sako, Prices, Quality, and Trust: Inter-firm Relations in Britain and Japan, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992, p. 32; quoted in Nooteboom, 2002, p. 37
Trust “may be defined as a reliance upon information received from another person about uncertain environmental states and their accompanying outcomes in a risky situation.”
– B.R. Schlenker, B. Helm, and J.T. Tedeschi, “The Effects of Personality and Situational Variables on Behavioral Trust,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 25, 1973, p. 419
Trust is a “belief, attitude, or expectation concerning the likelihood that the actions or outcomes of another individual, group or organization will be acceptable or will serve the actor’s interests.”
Trust is the “belief in a person’s competence to perform a specific task under specific circumstances.”
– S.B. Sitkin and N.L. Roth, “Explaining the Limited Effectiveness of Legalistic ‘Remedies’ for Trust/Distrust,” Organization Science, 4, 1993, p. 368, 373
Trust is “a psychological state comprising the intention to accept vulnerability to the actions of another party based upon the expectation that the other will perform a particular action that is important to you.”
– F. Six, B. Nooteboom, and A. Hoogendoorn, “Actions that Build Interpersonal Trust: A Relational Signalling Perspective,” Review of Social Economy, 68(3), 2010, pp. 289-290.
“Trust is the willingness to permit the decisions of others to influence your welfare.”
– J. Sobel, “Can We Trust Social Capital,” Journal of Economic Literature, 40(March), 2002, p. 148.
“When we trust other people, we expect that they will fulfill their promises, either because we know that they have usually done so in the past … or because we believe that we shall fare better if we presume that others are trustworthy.”
– E.M. Uslaner, The Moral Foundations of Trust, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2002, p. 2
“From a sociological perspective, trust is defined as a set of expectations shared by all those involved in an exchange.”
– L.G. Zucker, “Production of Trust: Institutional Sources of Economic Structure, 1840-1920,” Research in Organizational Behavior, 8, 1986, p. 54