Tag Archives: Trust

Rethinking the Social Network

By Susan Milligan – Is Facebook losing its base? The social media giant is already facing a credibility crisis.

Facebook began in the early 2000s at Harvard, where then-student Mark Zuckerberg started “Facemash” (often described as a Harvard “hot-or-not” site) and turned it into a multibillion-dollar site where “friends” could share news and photos, as well as personal profile information.

The site came to play an important role in campaigns and elections. Barack Obama’s campaign, for example, found that getting endorsed and mentioned in Facebook messages was often more effective than paying for TV campaign ads, since voters were more likely to trust information from someone they knew than from a professionally produced campaign commercial.

Other institutions fared poorly with young people as well, though trust was higher as the entities became more local. Just 22 percent trust the president to do the right thing all or most of the time, with the federal government, at 21 percent, and Congress, at 18 percent, coming in even lower. However, 34 percent say they have faith in their state governments all or most of the time, and 38 percent say the same about their local governments. more>

How the Postal System and the Printing Press Transformed European Markets

By Prateek Raj – Until the end of the fifteenth century, impartial institutions like courts and police that serve all parties generally—so ubiquitous today in the developed world—weren’t well developed in Europe. In such a world without impartial institutions, trade often was (is) heavily dependent on relationships and conducted through networks like merchant guilds.

Such relationship-based trade through dense networks of merchant guilds reduced concerns of information access and reliability. Not surprisingly, because the merchant guild system was an effective system in the absence of strong formal institutions, it sustained in Europe for several centuries.

In developing countries like India, lacking in developed formal institutions, networked institutions like castes still play an important role in business.

If information access is poor (lack of transparency) or businesses don’t adopt reliable business practices (poor financial reporting or opaque quality standards), these deficiencies at the business level can make customers and investors question the reliability of new businesses.

Politicians, like medieval rulers, may be more willing to enter into a nexus with dominant businesses, like medieval merchant guilds, if 1) market frictions or 2) lack of incentives make the economy dependent on such businesses. more> https://goo.gl/faiBJ4

Can Government Earn Citizens’ Trust?

BOOK REVIEW

Can Governments Earn Our Trust? Author: Donald F. Kettl.

By Donald F. Kettl – The foundation for building trust begins with the argument for transparency. The central idea, developed during the Enlightenment, is that government’s legitimacy builds on the consent of the governed. But, to give consent, citizens must know what government is doing and find effective levers of influence.

James Madison, one of America’s most distinguished founders, and later the country’s fourth president, wrote in Federalist 51, part of a series of papers devoted to making the case for the new American Constitution: “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

Of course, men are not angels, so democracy requires ways of helping the governed to control government. That begins, in the minds of many theorists and citizens alike, with the most important and fundamental tool to build trust: transparency.

The underlying assumption is that the more information that’s available to the public, the more accountable and better-performing government will be.

In the United States, the Sunlight Foundation is singularly devoted to making all government information open and available in real time. more> https://goo.gl/m71Cs4

If You Want to Build Trust, Collect Trash

By Harry Hertz – Let’s take a look at how new leaders can generate trust, how all leaders can further build trust, and some data on beneficial outcomes of establishing trust in the workplace.

  • First, Listen
  • Discuss Values, Not Vision
  • Tell Stories and History
  • Provide Feedback
  • Now, Share Your Vision
  • “Take Out the Trash.”

Building trust is an ongoing activity.

It is like growing a forest. The longer it grows, the more developed it becomes. But remember, it takes only one match to destroy the forest. more> http://tinyurl.com/475c65p

Trust in government


OECD – The financial and economic crisis that started in 2008 led to a significant loss of trust in government. By 2012, on average only four out of ten people in OECD member countries expressed confidence in their government.

Why does trust in government matter?
Trust in government has been identified as one of the most important foundations upon which the legitimacy and sustainability of political systems are built. Trust is essential for social cohesion and well being as it affects governments’ ability to govern and enables them to act without having to resort to coercion. Consequently, it is an efficient means of lowering transaction costs in any social, economic and political relationship.

  • Core levels of trust in government are necessary for the fair and effective functioning of government institutions
  • May help governments to implement structural reforms with long term benefits
  • Could improve compliance with rules and regulations and reduce the cost of enforcement
  • Could help increase confidence in the economy by facilitating economic decisions, such as on investment and consumption that foster economic growth
  • Critical in core functions of public governance, especially in crisis situations, such as natural disasters, economic crisis or political unrest

Declining trust in government might also make it more difficult to attract and retain talent to work for government institutions. more> http://tinyurl.com/pgf245y