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Trust and Leadership in Higher Education in the Downturn

Trust and Leadership in Higher Education in the Downturn

Jameson, Jill ORCID: 0000-0002-9545-8078 (2009) Trust and Leadership in Higher Education in the Downturn. In: Society for Research into Higher Education Annual Conference, 8-10 December 2009, Newport, South Wales, UK. (Unpublished)

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This Leadership Academy Workshop presentation focused on 'Trust and Leadership in the Downturn', with particular reference to the public sector and to education. The presentation discussed a range of definitions of trust, including the view of Mayer, Davis and Schoorman (1995) that trust can be described as 'the willingness of a person to be vulnerable to the actions of another, based on the expectation that the other will perform a particular action important to the trustor, irrespective of the ability to monitor or control that action'. The presentation then focused on the reasons why this relational psychological state is important,particularly in an economic recession when people were facing job cuts and economic uncertainty in a wider political and social environment characterised by cynicism and a downturn in trust. If trust is defined in part as a belief in the honesty, competence and benevolence of others, it tends to act like 'social glue', cushioning difficult situations and enabling actions to take place easily that otherwise would not be permissible. A worrying state of affairs has recently been developing across the world, however, in the economic downturn, as reported in the Edelman Trust Barometer for 2009, in which there was a marked diminuition of trust in corporations, businesses and government, as a result of the credit crunch. While the US and parts of Europe was showing recovery from a generalised loss of trust by mid-year 2009, the UK had not. It seems that social attitudes in Britain may be hardening - it seems that from being a nation of sceptics we may be becoming a nation of cynics: for example, 69% of the population surveyed by Edelman trust the government less than six months ago. In this situation, there is a need to promote positive measures to build trust, including the establishment of more transparent and honest business practices and practices to ensure that employees are treated well. Following the presentation, a workshop was held to discuss the nature of a possible loss of trust in the downturn in the UK and its implications for leadership practices and development.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Speech)
Uncontrolled Keywords: trust, leadership, educational leadership, leadership and management, recession, trust and leadership
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Education
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 12:38

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