Getting off on the wrong foot: Restoring trust and the timing of a breach

Robert B. Lount*, Chenbo Zhong, Niro Sivanathan, J. Keith Murnighan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Few interpersonal relationships endure without one party violating the other's expectations. Thus, not only is the ability to build trust and maintain cooperative interactions critical, but so is the ability to restore cooperation after a breach. This paper uses two laboratory experiments to investigate the timing of a trust breach that interrupts a string of cooperative choices in an iterated prisoners' dilemma. A programmed counterpart defected twice - at the start of the interaction or after 5 or after 10 trials, or not at all. The findings indicate that "getting off on the wrong foot" has devastating long-run consequences and that later trust breaches, although planting a seed of distrust, can be overcome, often fairly quickly. Thus, there is hope combined with costs after a trust breach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management 2006 Annual Meeting
Subtitle of host publicationKnowledge, Action and the Public Concern, AOM 2006
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006
Event66th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2006 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Aug 11 2006Aug 16 2006

Other

Other66th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2006
CountryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA
Period8/11/068/16/06

Keywords

  • Trust
  • Trust repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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