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Swift Trust: Implications for Whole of Government/Comprehensive Approach (WoG/CA) Missions

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Technical Report

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Defence Research and Development Canada Toronto Toronto, Ontario Canada

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Interpersonal trust has been proposed as a key mechanism to overcome many of the barriers to collaboration and coordination in a variety of team and organizational settings, including Whole-of-Government Comprehensive Approach WoGCA missions. Traditional models of trust are predicated on a gradual, incremental history of deepening risk and demonstrated reliability between parties. However, these models do not lend themselves to those WoGCA contexts in which members of different governmental departments who have no history together must quickly coalesce into an effective team, often in response to a crisis or a top governmental priority. Fortunately research from within the organizational behavior realm has demonstrated that there are times when swift trust may exist, that is, where initial trust levels in work settings can be quite positive, even when the parties collaborating are strangers to each other. This research on swift trust is integrated with the literature on organizational alliances and applied to WoGCA context. The paper concludes with recommendations to instantiate and to promote swift trust in WoGCA interagency missions.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Administration and Management

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