Public Performance & Management Review vol:37 issue:4 pages:577-604
Abstract: This article argues that interorganizational trust is a crucial but understudied topic in public administration research. It consolidates the relevant literature and identifies the conceptual building blocks that are required to study interorganizational trust and distrust as specific phenomena in public administration. The authors argue that both trust and distrust can be considered to have certain functionalities and dysfunctionalities for interorganizational interactions in public administration, and discuss the dimensions and sources of interorganizational trust and distrust in such interactions. The article consolidates these discussions in the concept of âadministrational trustâ, which is defined as âa subjective evaluation made by boundary spanners regarding their intentional and behavioral suspension of vulnerability on the basis of expectations of a trustee organization in particular interorganizational interactions in public administrationâ. The authors construct and present a framework for analysis of the mechanisms of administrational trust and distrust, and argue that it also allows the development of management strategies to optimize interorganizational trust-distrust distributions in order to facilitate, solidify and increase the performance of interorganizational cooperation in public administration.