Article

Repairing Trust to Preserve Balance: A Balance‐Theoretic Approach to Trust Breach and Repair in Groups

Authors
  • Susan E. Brodt
  • Lukas Neville

Abstract

We draw on balance theory (Heider, 1958) to better understand trust breach in its social context. By focusing on the motive to preserve balanced relationships within groups, we present a novel view on how and when trust repair is likely to occur in teams and workgroups. We also argue why such balanced states are likely to be more than just transitory, and why people attempt to rebalance systems rendered imbalanced by a breach. In addition, by examining the balance motive in trust relations, we conjecture about when trust judgments and behavior are likely to converge (or diverge) among the members of teams and work groups. Our approach contributes to an emerging stream of literature on the role of third parties and social groups on conflict and trust in teams and workgroups. Throughout our analysis, we offer propositions to guide subsequent empirical research.

Keywords: teams, groups, balance theory, trust repair, Trust

How to Cite:

Brodt, S. & Neville, L., (2013) “Repairing Trust to Preserve Balance: A Balance‐Theoretic Approach to Trust Breach and Repair in Groups”, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research 6(1), 49-65. doi: https://doi.org/10.34891/fn2s-1d98

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Published on
29 Jan 2013
Peer Reviewed