Research Summary


by Deepak Malhotra


My research on trust falls into two broad categories.  First, I study barriers to trust development, and focus on mechanisms that might help to overcome these barriers.  One recent project analyzes over 150,000 pages of documents concerning 102-interfirm disputes to examine whether and when contracts facilitate vs. undermine inter-party trust and collaboration.  In other work, I have used laboratory and field experiments to examine the psychological barriers that inhibit trust development among otherwise well-intentioned parties, and how parties might facilitate trust and reciprocity.  Second, I study stakeholder trust in organizations.  One recent project examines how organizations build trust with multiple stakeholder groups when the very nature of trust differs across groups.  Another project looks at whether we need to rethink the nature of "trust in business" in light of the recent financial crisis (i.e., in the "post-bailout" economy).