Distrust: not only in secret service organizations

Siebert, S. and Czarniawska, B. (2020) Distrust: not only in secret service organizations. Journal of Management Inquiry, 29(3), pp. 286-298. (doi: 10.1177/1056492618798939)

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In this article, we discuss the issue of distrust in the most extreme example of distrustful organizations: secret service organizations. Distrust may be a basic organizing principle in such organizations, but how is it produced and maintained? Inspired by actor–network theory, we analyzed the devices, codes, rules, and procedures used in secret service organizations, and then asked whether these devices, codes, rules, and procedures differ from those used in ordinary organizations. Based on our analysis, we make two contributions. First, we draw researchers’ attention to distrust that is intentionally built and maintained rather than distrust that is accidental and indicative of faulty management. Second, we identify the material manifestations of distrust. We argue that in future studies of trust and distrust in organizations, it will be necessary to focus on the technologies, physical objects, and quasi-objects. These, together with discourses, guarantee the stability of connections among organizational actions.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Siebert, Professor Sabina
Authors: Siebert, S., and Czarniawska, B.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Journal of Management Inquiry
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1552-6542
Published Online:07 September 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Management Inquiry 29(3): 286-298
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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