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Building Trust: In Business, Politics, Relationships, and Life Paperback – May 1, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195161114
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195161113
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.5 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This is a book about trust that you can trust to be comprehensive, creative, and interestingly iconoclastic. Solomon and Flores argue that trust sustains all forms of human relationships. They claim that without trust--Hobbes would have been right--life would be nasty, brutish, and short! This concise book alters and adds to the debate on trust, and is a gift and a challenge to its readers."--Al Gini, Associate Editor, Business Ethics Quarterly

"Trust is easy to break, hard to build, and more important than ever. Our increasingly fluid, network economy depends on trusting relationships. Solomon and Flores offer valuable insights into the subtle dynamics of trust. It's not as simple as you might think, but their treatment of the topic is lucid and intelligent."--Jay Ogilvy, Co-founder and Managing Director, Global Business Network

About the Author

Robert C. Solomon is the Quincy Lee Centennial Professor of Business and Philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin. His books include A Short History of Philosophy and Business Ethics, both published by OUP. Fernando Flores is Presidente, Fundación Chile (a Chilean non-governmental organization) and Chairman and CEO of Business Design Associates, Inc.

Customer Reviews

This book's contents could be summarized in one page.
Raymond Hart
It is an excellent reference to understand what it takes to build trust among team members and improve performance.
Vicente Marin
We need to be honest, open and willing to give and build trust at the very moment we are 'betrayed.'
Luke G. McCarthy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Mark A. Taylor on December 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is not a prescription or a how to book; it provides rich distinctions that have inspired me to be a different observer of trust. My personal vision is to bring trust back into the business world; to build trust in business, relationships, and life.
I am sick and tired of dealing with companies and people that don't do what they say they are going to do. I don't want to hear another excuse, story, explanation, or reason again.
Trust is what is missing in the world and especially in the world of business, and even more especially in the world of technology.
Trust is about honor, integrity, and accountability. There is no greater freedom than absolutely knowing that you can trust another person. Trust brings peace. Trust lets me sleep at night. Trust feels right. Trust feels good. Trust is being free from worry.
Being trusted is an honor. Being trusted carries a responsibility and with that responsibility, there is pride. There is dignity. There is self worth. Trust is human. Trust is transformative. Trust is care. Trust is virtuous. Trust is authentic. Trust is pure. Trust is sincerity.
Below are some excerpts from the book that I felt were pearls:
" Trust is the essential precondition upon which all real success depends. The key to trust is action, and, in particular, commitment: commitments made and commitments honored."
"The problem of trust has clearly emerged as the problem in human relationships and organizations. What makes most companies falter-leaving aside market forces, bad products, and incompetent management-is the lack of trust."
"Our aim is to help people build trust, establish trust where there has been none, maintain trust when trust is in trouble, and recreate trust even when it seems that trust has been destroyed.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Luke G. McCarthy on August 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have been studying both these authors over the last 15 years and. I find that the way in which Dr. Flores & Solomon have been able to speak about Building Trust allows myself and my buisness clients to begin resolving a nagging issue; "how do I trust others in my organization who I must rely on to get my work done?"
As Flores and Solomon say; it is a matter first and foremost of 'giving trust'. Many people approach their relationships, either professional or personal, such that trust becomes a matter of bartering. If you do this, I will do that and if we do this enough times we will begin to trust each other..but if you make any mistakes then we have to go back to ground zero and in actuality it is a negative ground, it can never be zero again..or, as in many cases we don't even try to go back we just say adios.
The practice of building 'Authentic Trust' is not a opaque and hidden conversation. Flores and Solomon understand this challange and the courage required when they refer to the 'cordial hypocrisy' that must be overcome within ourselves and our communities to build this 'authentic trust.'
For years, Vietnam Vets or others like us, lived in a country that could not talk about the 'dark side' or evilness of the war. This breakdown in trust, the 'cordial hypocrisy' which worked to cover this up, has been one of the causes of so much pain and loss of life even after the war. We did not see the importance of 'talking about trust' as a moment of building trust.
It is no different in organizations. The well being and livelihoods of our colleagues, our communities and our customers depend on each one of us.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Cortlandt Wilson on August 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I kept re-reading parts of this book because I thought I had missed something. What I was looking for was some insight or actionable concepts about how to build trust -- which is what I inferred the book to be about from the title and from my previous exposure to the work and writings of Fernando Flores. I didn't find the practical advise I hoped to find.
On the other hand the authors make one point a number of times that dramatically shifted my thinking: trust can either be "earned" or it can be given. The titanic idea is that trust can be given to another in order to enjoy the new relationship that trust makes possible. In other words, my taking the risk to offer my trust to another makes many things possible in a relationship that might not otherwise be impossible. Unfortunately, even around that idea the authors offer little advise, examples, stories, case studies of offering trust. Nearly all the writing was in the abstract. Now I love theory but I also appreciate the practical application of same.
My memory of reading the book is one of feeling stunned by the lack of practical advise in the book. It seemed to me that authors crept up to edge but neglected to tell us what they saw. Inexplicable because both authors appear to be active practitioners of the theory that they write about.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. Bennett on October 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A decent book that needs to be read carefully. The author explores the ways that we view trust from all angles. Trust itself is sometimes a hard word to define. People have different definitions of trust and the authors bring clairity into this subject.
Basic trust - we are all born with this trait, as infants we are dependent on our parents for feeding and caring for us. We establish a foundation for trust at a very young age.
Simple trust - unconscious form of trust better known as our default trust. A lot of times we trust people we don't even know because we have to, like it or not. When you go to the super market and the person at the register tells you it cost xxx, you trust that they have calculated the amount correctly. When we ask directions to a location when in an unfamiliar town, we trust a person we don't even know to give us correct directions. People who have been betrayed at one time or another refer to this trust as the "naive trust".
Blind trust - is a trust in denial. When somebody has been presented with facts showing their trust has been taken advantage of but continue not to believe the facts that are contrary to a one's personal beliefs, the person turns to a state of denial not accepting the facts. Blind trust is not critical and unquestioning.
Conditional trust - rarely does any trust exsist without some type of condition attached to it. A business person trusts that his fellow colleagues will do their work but would you trust a work colleague to do perform a medical operation on one of your family members? We trust somebody to do something and once this person has completed the action we will proceed to do something in return for that person. We see this type of trust in politics quite often or between parents and children sometimes.
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More About the Author

G. Lee Bowie received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Stanford University and has taught at University of Michigan, University of Mass, Amherst College, and Hampshire College. Currently he is Professor of Philosophy at Mount Holyoke College. Meredith W. Michaels received a Ph.D. in philosophy (with Clancy Martin), ETHICS AND EXCELLENCE, THE JOY OF PHILOSOPHY, and TRUE TO OUR FEELINGS, and he was co-editor of TWENTY QUESTIONS, Fifth Edition (with Lee Bowie and Meredith Michaels), and SINCE SOCRATES (with Clancy Martin).

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