Facework: creating trust in systems, institutions, and organisations

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    Abstract

    There is a dearth of concepts able to explain the genesis of trust in institutional systems such as organisations and wider expert systems, and its link to interpersonal trust. To this end, the present paper reconsiders and reinvigorates Giddens's (1990) concept of "facework". It reviews the use of the concept in the literature, finding considerable conceptual confusion, particularly in distinguishing between Giddens's and Goffman's (2003 [1955]) earlier conceptualisation. This is addressed through a formal definition of facework. The paper then develops the concept further, based on Giddens's own structuration theory. It focuses particularly on two aspects, viz., the different dimensions and elements of facework, and the balance between institutionalised and agentic elements inherent in it. The paper concludes by summarising the implications this analysis has for broader conceptions of individuals "representing" organisations and expert systems.

    Publisher Statement: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Cambridge Journal of Economics following peer review. The version of record Kroeger, F 2017, 'FACEWORK: creating trust in systems, institutions, and organisations' Cambridge Journal of Economics, vol 41, no. 2, pp. 487-514 is available online at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cje/bew038
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)487-514
    Number of pages28
    JournalCambridge Journal of Economics
    Volume41
    Issue number2
    Early online date3 Aug 2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

    Bibliographical note

    This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Cambridge Journal of Economics following peer review. The version of record Kroeger, F 2017, 'FACEWORK: creating trust in systems, institutions, and organisations' Cambridge Journal of Economics, vol 41, no. 2, pp. 487-514 is available online at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cje/bew038

    Keywords

    • facework
    • trust in expert systems
    • institutional trust
    • organizational trust
    • system trust
    • structuration theory
    • representatives
    • boundary spanners

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