Swift Trust: State-of-the-Art and Future Research Directions

Kirsimarja Blomqvist
Routledge Press
In this chapter we review briefly the nature of swift trust as conceptualized by Meyerson, et al. (1996) and the empirical work that has attempted to test some of the propositions they laid out. In addition, we comment on the limitations of this conceptualization and how new organizational phenomena require us to extend their work to capture innovative efforts in many domains that also exhibit rapidly forming or “swift” trust among those who engage in these enterprises. We discuss whether this conceptualization applies to knowledge creation activities, among other types of activities, in various settings (referred to as “fast trust,” see Blomqvist, 2002 and 2005; Blomqvist & Cook, 2014). In our conclusion we discuss whether the original conceptualization of “swift trust” should be broadened to encompass these new forms of organizing, or whether a new concept should be developed that is more appropriate for explaining rapidly evolving trust and cooperation in the domain of knowledge-intensive enterprises. We first analyze some of the past empirical research on swift trust at the team level. Then we discuss recent conceptual and qualitative research on trust to help us evaluate the boundaries of swift trust and its applicability to new domains of temporary organizing in the innovation context, and we conclude with suggestions for further research.