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Trust is essential for establishing and maintaining mutually advantageous, even amicable, relationships in business or other cooperative social arrangements. A violation of trust will severely test and may end the relationship. There is an old saying that trust arrives on foot but leaves on horseback.

The Definition Problem

Despite nearly unanimous agreement on the importance of trust as a lubricant for expediting market exchanges and as a glue for cementing cooperative relationships in that market, scholars have failed to achieve consensus on its definition. They have tended to focus on different aspects of trust observed through different disciplinary lenses in a wide variety of contexts, from individual (micro) to organizational (meso) and even societal (macro) levels of analysis and at different stages of development.

Virtually all definitions of ...

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