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Bureaucracy and Trust: A Review of Recent Volumes in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust

Bureaucracy and Trust: A Review of Recent Volumes in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust


Trust in Society . Karen S. Cook, editor. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2001, 464 pages. ISBN: 978-0871541819 Distrust . Russell Hardin. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2004, 352 pages. ISBN: 978-0871543509. Trust and Distrust in Organizations: Dilemmas and Approaches . Roderick M. Kramer and Karen S. Cook, editors. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2004, 368 pages. ISBN: 978-0871544865 Trust has always been a central idea for those studying both public management and organization theory. Governments, at least the non-kleptocracies, exist to produce trust: trust in fellow citizens, trust in contracts and the rule of law, and trust that governments will meet their responsibilities to serve and protect. What is more, public managers have taken on tasks of grave importance involving large numbers of people, situations in which reliance on particularistic interpersonal trust is not always possible. In order to carry out their responsibilities public managers developed the organizational form designed to create trust among strangers that Weber ( 1947 ) called “bureaucracy.” First in war, and later in Prussia's innovative welfare state, public managers needed to bring large numbers of people together to carry out tasks that contribute to distant strategic objectives. They discovered that bureaucracy fosters
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