Building trust in economic space
While there is widespread recognition of the importance and role of trust in facilitating regional development, technology transfer, and agglomeration economies, the concept remains rather undertheorized within economic geography and regional science. This paper reviews and assesses the literature on the role and constitution of trust for economic and industrial development and presents a conceptualization of the trust building process that accounts for the influences of agency, institutions, materials, and interpersonal expression. In doing so, geographic concerns about the role of space and context are linked to economic and sociological conceptualizations of trust and to scholarship from actor-network theory (ANT) and social psychology regarding the influence of power, non-human intermediaries, and performance on social outcomes and network configurations. The result is a heuristic framework for analyzing trust-building processes as temporally and spatially situated social phenomena shaped by context-specific subjective, intersubjective, and structural factors. The conceptualization's broader significance lies not in detailing the many factors that influence trust but in its contextualization of the micro-social processes that can strengthen business relationships. In doing so, the framework can facilitate a move beyond solely instrumental conceptualizations of trust and toward a relational understanding of how the means for establishing and sustaining trust influence the development and potential of such 'ends' as clusters and production networks. © 2006 SAGE Publications.
Progress in Human Geography
Murphy, James T., "Building trust in economic space" (2006). Geography. 418.