Creating Public Trust

An Organisational Perspective

by Barbara Kozuch (Author) Zbyslaw Dobrowolski (Author)
©2014 Monographs 255 Pages


The aim of this book is to outline an organisational perspective in exploring public trust. A public management model, adopted for ongoing considerations, covers both changes in public organisations themselves, namely in their internal environment, as well as changes spurred by dynamic shifts in the external environment, such as the management system as a whole. The study attempts to demonstrate that efficient functioning of public organisations has a significant impact on shaping relationships based on trust within and between organisations. It also presents the concepts of corruption, fraud and trust. The research completed with regard to the organisational perspective of creating public trust is a contribution to the advancement of organisational theory.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • Part I
  • I. Organisational Perspective of Public Trust (Barbara Kożuch)
  • 1. Trust as a Fundamental Aspect of Organising
  • 1.1. Various Approaches Towards Trust
  • 1.2. Types of Trust
  • 1.3. Organisational Trust
  • 2. Trust in Public Organisations
  • 2.1. Specifics of Public Organisations
  • 2.2. Trust and Public Accountability
  • 2.3. The Essence of Public Trust
  • 3. Towards a Managerial View of Public Trust
  • 3.1. Public Managers and Managerial View of Public Trust
  • 3.2. Instruments of Managerial Work in Public Organizations
  • II. Public Trust in Times of Changing Public Organisations (Barbara Kożuch)
  • 4. Trust at the Interface Between Public Organisations and Their Stakeholders
  • 4.1. Public Organisations’ Interactions With Their Environment
  • 4.2. Shaping Inter-Organisational Relations as an Innovative Tool of Public Management
  • 4.3. Trust and Changing Public Oganisations Cultures
  • 5. Public Trust and Collaborative Public Management
  • 5.1. Citizen-Centred Collaborative Management and Its Outcomes
  • 5.2. Instruments of Creating Public Trust
  • Part II
  • I. Trust, Corruption and Fraud (Zbysław Dobrowolski)
  • 6.1. Concept, Causes and Types of Corruption
  • 6.2. Concept. Causes and Types of Fraud
  • II. Corruption and Fraud Prevention (Zbysław Dobrowolski)
  • 7. Anti-corruption System
  • 8. The Role of Supreme Audit Institutions in Building Public Trust Through Tackling Wrongdoing
  • 9. Corruption Mechanisms and Public Spheres Exposed to Corruption and Fraud
  • Privatization Process-Examples
  • Public Procurement-Examples
  • Management of Public Assets – Examples
  • Activities of Broadly Defined Financial Services – Examples
  • Functioning of Internal Control, Supervision, Services and Inspectorates – Examples
  • Other examples of irregularities in public operations
  • Part III
  • I. Organizational Challenges of Creating Public Trust
  • 10. Adjusting Public Organisations to Trust-based Management (Barbara Kożuch)
  • 11. Building Trust Through Counteracting Money Laundering and Through Creating Intra-organizational Trust (Zbysław Dobrowolski)
  • 12. The Role of Management Control in Creating Public Trust (Zbysław Dobrowolski)
  • Conclusion
  • Series Index

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In its long-term research objectives the European Union places an emphasis on the issues of the civic society, including modernization of public administration and collaborations between organizations from a wide variety of sectors. It is connected with a necessity to streamline operations within the public sector. In this process an immense significance is given to public trust. In relationships between entities from public domain trust proves to be a distinctive feature reinforcing their potential for providing public services.

Issues dealing with public trust are hardly a novelty. Research to date, however, has focused more on changes in the psychological and political meaning of this phenomenon. They failed to address questions on what changes need to be brought about throughout an organization so as to make it capable of creating and restoring public trust. The current state in this respect is not known. The research conducted represents an attempt to partially bridge an existing gap.

In the today’s public management, two trends explicitly come to the fore. The first entails a departure from reiteration and duplication of activities as well as execution of instructions so as to emphasize creativity in problem solving, whereas the other involves establishing relationships not only within the public sector, but also through collaboration with organizations from the same and other sectors. Therefore, an organizational perspective in exploring public trust has gained prominence.

A public management model, adopted for ongoing considerations, covers both changes in public organizations themselves, in other words in their internal environment as well as changes spurred by dynamic shifts in the surroundings of the organizations and of the management system as a whole.

The globalization of markets and an increased emphasis on ensuring security has motivated companies and States (governments) to form long-term relationships in a variety of ways including the establishment of formal trade relations and transnational corporations. Such relationships establish commercial communication and exchange channels. However, these relationships cannot properly function without trust. Trust is a necessary component in public-private partnerships, and in relations between public organizations, individuals and private firms. In addition, the States, regions, communes need stable development that is possible when firms want to make long term investments. To promote such investments public organizations need be trustworthy. The trustworthiness or good reputation of these organizations is based in large part on the public’s interactions with the ← 7 | 8 → individuals and employees of the public organizations. Trust in public organizations is also affected by government policies, civil liberties and economic freedom.

A competent public organization can add value to society. This issue is particularly important in the era of globalization, when governments are looking for cost savings and efficiency in the operation of public institutions The contrary is also true in that delivery of public services below the quality expected by the society and poor performance of duties by employees of public organizations leads to disappointment and public dissatisfaction that reduces the level of public trust in the public organizations and the macrostructure – the State.

Corruption is a phenomenon that destroys public trust. Doubt and mistrust exist in societies where the level of public trust is low. Corruption is a human condition that has always been with us. Since ancient times societies have formulated prohibitions against breaking the law and taking bribes. Corruption existed during the period of socialism and the free market is not free from corruption.

One of the necessary steps of establishing and maintaining public trust is the reduction of corruption in public life. The anti-corruption interventionism can be considered as a tool for the creation public trust. The anti-corruption interventionism can be defined as a corrective action taken to reduce or eliminate of deficiencies of public life. Its essence is to influence public officials and individuals to make decisions that help to achieve the objectives of sustainable development and to cope with social problems.

The literature about trust is abundant. However, the research question: “What is the role of public organizations such as the Supreme Audit Office in creating public trust?” has not been adequately answered. A cognitive purpose of the monograph is to demonstrate that efficient functioning public organizations has a significant impact on shaping relationships based on trust within and between organisations. The research completed with regard to the organisational perspective of creating public trust is a contribution to the advancement of organisational theory.

The monograph consists of three parts. Part I is devoted to the organisational perspective of public trust. Its theoretical investigations are focused on trust as a fundamental aspect of organising, trust in public organisations and the managerial view of public trust. It also considers public trust in times of changing public organisations by paying attention to trust at the interface between public organisations and their stakeholders to interdependences between public trust and collaborative public management.

In Part II entitled “Corruption, Fraud and Trust” concepts, causes, and types of corruption and its relation to governance are presented. The chapter discusses the extent of global corruption, anti-corruption efforts, and the role of Supreme Audit ← 8 | 9 → Offices in tackling corruption and fraud. In addition, information on corruption mechanisms and public spheres exposed to corruption and fraud are presented.

Whereas Part III gives an account of organisational challenges faced when creating public trust. The chapter focuses on emergent themes of public trust. The role of the State in creating public trust through tackling money laundering is discussed. Further the issue of building intra-organizational trust is highlighted. Finally, the role of management controls is presented.

These studies, on one hand, have implications in the context of systematization of the public management concept and organizational change management in relation to efficiency of collaboration between organizations in the local community, but on the other hand, they arise from the need for management practice in the public sector. Therefore, their practical purpose is defined as formulating recommendations for managers in public organizations. Their accomplishment may foster improved functioning of the public services.

The monograph is addressed to all those interested in the issues pertaining to contemporary public management – scholars and students, as well as practitioners in management of public organizations.

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I. Organisational Perspective of Public Trust

1. Trust as a Fundamental Aspect of Organising

1.1. Various Approaches Towards Trust

In the today’s public management, three trends explicitly come to the fore. The first entails a departure from reiteration and duplication of activities and execution of instructions in favour of an emphasis on creativity in problem solving. The second takes into account the need to go beyond the borders of an organisation and to establish relationships with its surroundings. In other words, establishing relationships based mostly on cooperation with the organisation’s customers proves to be essential. whereas the third involves establishing relationships not only within the public sector, but also through cooperation with organizations from other sectors. Furthermore as regards external relationships, the importance is attached to capabilities of operating in a competitive environment, orientation towards the customer and citizen and revamping of public services. These changes also encompass implementation of principles for public management which are specific to organizations. It suggests therefore, transformations in their structures, a different selection of management tools and changes in managing employee teams.

What has become the sign of our times is the growing interest in the humanistic aspects of management, with management based on trust as one of the approaches. Public management is an important area where that aspect is applied, although previously it came into spotlight in relation to people’s daily activities including their business activity.

Trust is rightly called the foundation of all organized activities conducted by people.

An organization cannot exist if there is no cooperation which requires trust, or at least the minimum of it.

Without trust, people would have been paralysed by inaction. Trust is connected with many concepts: reliability, predictability, expectation, collaboration, goodwill, accountability, and also distrust, wrongdoing, insincerity1. It means that the party who is trusted by someone is believed to act to that party’s benefit, or at least not to act against it. Furthermore, that party will be reliable and the behaviour ← 13 | 14 → will be foreseeable and in accordance with the commonly accepted rules2. In other words, trust is described as the expectancy by the truster that he/she will be treated with fairness and will not be harmed by the trustee.3

Bearing in mind trust as a concept, it should be emphasised that it reflects the perceived features of an individual, group, organisation or institution: reliability, competence, legitimacy, honesty.”4

In general, based on the literature review, features of the concept of trust may be described as follows:

 „It is interpersonal: between concrete individuals and connected with communication.

 Situational rather than global: trust is placed in one particular person.

 Voluntary: trust must spring from choice and cannot be compulsory, sometimes it is experimental.

 Committed, since each party depends on the other (without being able to control him/her).

 Conscious: each party is aware of the other party’s trust.

 Relevant, in the sense that the consequences of breach of trust by one of the parties cannot be considered insignificant by the other.

 Dynamic or temporal, because it evolves over time: trust is established and grows or diminishes and dies.

 Action oriented, implicit in the goal of the relationship.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2014 (April)
corruption Betrug collaborative public management Korruption Organisation der Obersten Rechnungskontrollbehörden
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2014. 255 pp., 25 b/w fig., 14 tables

Biographical notes

Barbara Kozuch (Author) Zbyslaw Dobrowolski (Author)

Barbara Kożuch is a professor of Economics at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland). She published over 300 publications, particularly on organisational theory and public management. Zbysław Dobrowolski, Dr. habil. of Economics and Management, is a senior lecturer at the Institute of Public Affairs at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland) and is the author of numerous publications, mainly in the field of public management.


Title: Creating Public Trust
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258 pages