'Organizational recidivism' and trust repair: a story of failed detectives

Siebert, S. , Martin, G. and Bozic, B. (2018) 'Organizational recidivism' and trust repair: a story of failed detectives. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 5(4), pp. 328-345. (doi: 10.1108/JOEPP-07-2018-0054)

167422.pdf - Accepted Version



Purpose: Over the last decade, trust repair has become an important theoretical and practical concern in HRM. The purpose of this paper is to explain why organisations fail to repair their stakeholders’ trust following a series of trust breaches. Design/methodology/approach: Archival data is used to investigate the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). Using the analytical frame of the detective novel, the authors analyse reputational scandals in RBS, and in doing so, they explore the interweaving of two stories: the story of the “crime” (the bank's actions which led to breaches of trust) and the story of the “detectives” (parliamentary, regulatory and press investigators). Findings: Based on their analysis, the authors argue that the organisation's failure to repair trust is associated with ineffective detection of what went wrong in the bank and why. Practical implications: HR practitioners dealing with similar situations should understand the complicated and unfolding nature of repeated transgressions, and the reasons why previous trust repair efforts may have failed. Social implications: An organisation may be showing willingness to accept responsibility for the violation of trust, but while new transgressions happen, trust repair efforts may fail. Therefore, what is needed in organisations is a longitudinal analysis that takes into account organisational history, including earlier wrongdoings. Originality/value: The paper is one of the few analysing trust repair from a process perspective and using the metaphor of the detective novel to provide insights into organizational reintegration.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bozic, Mr Branko and Martin, Professor Graeme and Siebert, Professor Sabina
Authors: Siebert, S., Martin, G., and Bozic, B.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School
College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance
ISSN (Online):2051-6622
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited
First Published:First published in Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance 5(4):328-345
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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