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

4.1 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (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: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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. I have the picture of the authors creeping up to the 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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Format: Hardcover
Expectations that arise from our cultural backgrounds may cause us to be disappointed that this book is not a 'How To' manual, nor does it provide a blueprint for building or skillfully posessing some 'thing' called trust. Instead, the authors offer a philosophical discourse aimed at: exploring the cultural backgrounds that produce our (mis)understanding of trust; observing trusting in ourselves and others; developing a more powerful understanding of the meaning of trust; and developing practices and other competencies that will increase our capacity to trust, allowing us to enter into more powerful and satisfying relationships.
Those who have read Dr. Flores et al's Disclosing New Worlds, in which three specific historical narratives offer examples of particular political skills in action, may be disappointed that there are no similar in-depth narratives here. I think the ubiquity trust acts -- we are in situations of trust/mistrust in almost every moment of our lives -- precludes those kinds of narratives.
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