Identification as a Trust-Generating Mechanism in Cooperatives

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Abstract

It is commonly held that trust is a crucial mechanism for coordination and control in cooperatives. The elusive nature of trust is also emphasised. What seems to be less discussed is where trust and distrust come from, as well as the shifting conditions under which trust is developed, maintained and sometimes disposed of. This article explores one trust-making mechanism which seems to be of particular interest in cooperatives and other membership-based organisations. The mechanism in question is members' identification to the cooperative organizations. The empirical test supports the proposition that strong identification is a significant trust-making mechanism in cooperative organizations.

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