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Definition of Trust as a Catalyst and the Implications Therefrom: A Deduction from a Literature Review

Peter King

Abstract: Much has been written about trust and trust-building, but no consensual definition of trust has been developed. In this article, the definition of trust as a catalyst is proposed based on a deduction from an aggregation of peer-reviewed articles from across several disciplines and hermeneutic examination of the contents. The paper suggests that discipline-related points of view and common usage of trust as a noun and or a verb leads to confusion in trying to develop a consensual definition. Given the accepted universality of trust, a consensual definition would help achieve a further understanding of both trust and trust-building. The proposed definition permits recognition of discipline-related definitions and suggests the focus of trust should be directed to establishing the conditions under which trust enables successful exchange interactions (i.e., trust-building). The separation of trust and trust-building has implications for management and other relationships. Suggestions for further research are included.
Keywords: deduction / trust and trust building / consensual definition / discipline

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