Learning to trust across distance. How critical incidents trigger awareness, reflexive learning and diversified trust development in virtual multicultural student teams
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organization Studies (APROS) 2015
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
Trust is a multifaceted and already well-differentiated phenomenon. However, whereas the development of various types of trust gained already significant attention in different disciplines, the question how the foundations of trust shift from ex-ante swift trust assumptions to more conscious trustworthiness experiences and assessments remains underexplored. In order to shed light into these transition processes of early trust formation, a cross-disciplinary view is applied using various aspects of learning theory in a virtual multicultural team setting.
In a multiple case study design, the qualitative data sample presents various critical incidents (CIs) which occurred in virtual teams during early stages of a virtual business simulation game. It thereby explores the role of mutually influencing individual- and team-level learning on the transition from swift trust to more differentiated forms of trust.
Findings unravel the crucial role of awareness and reflexivity for initial virtual trust development. Mere accumulation of experiences (awareness) did not allow trustors to create substantial perceptions on trustee?s ability, benevolence and integrity (ABI) and consequently initial conflict and first tensions resulted in trust erosion or distrust. On the other hand, those individuals and teams that translated experiential awareness into reflexivity (reflective accommodation) established a dynamic learning process on individual and team level, and thereby managed to convert swift trusting behavior into more resilient and differentiated forms of trust.
The paper?s contribution is threefold: (1) it provides a better understanding of early virtual trust development processes, (2) establishes a link between learning theory and trust and (3) relates to the general claim for more contextualized theory-building in trust research.