A reflexive blog where Alison Donaldson and Rob Warwick reflect on their experience of researching how people develop trusting relationships in organisations. The blog posts were mostly stimulated by our reading of the literature on trust on organisational life. We hope they will stimulate practitioners to think about their own experience of trust in working relationships.
Our project began in February 2015 and is funded by Roffey Park Management Institute in Surrey, England. (See all Roffey Park projects on trust.)
ALISON is an independent researcher and writer. She has spent much of the last decade working closely with Macmillan Cancer Support to capture the story of the doctors, nurses and patients who collaborate with the charity for the benefit of people affected by cancer. This work culminated in the book Communities of Influence in 2011. In 2003, Alison was awarded a Doctor of Management in Organisational Change by the University of Hertfordshire, where she studied under Professor Ralph Stacey. Since then, her writing has been informed by recent thinking on complexity and emergence. In practice, this has meant: paying close attention to history, relationships and conversations in organisational life; using narrative accounts to stimulate reflection and learning; and choosing words carefully to convey a sense of emergence or ‘process’. Many moons ago Alison was employed by McKinsey & Company in London; before that by Consumers’ Association; and before that by the International Institute of Management in Berlin (when the Wall was still standing). Alison also blogs about the uses and abuses of writing in organisational life, especially the ever-expanding tentacles of bureaucracy.
ROB is also a graduate of University of Hertfordshire, studying under Professors Ralph Stacey and Patricia Shaw. His doctorate was in healthcare policy, particularly the interaction between policy and frontline practice. This was gained whilst working as Head of Strategic Change for a large NHS organisation where he worked closely with the Department of Health on a national healthcare initiative. In addition to 14 years in a variety of NHS management positions, Rob has 8 years’ experience in consultancy. He is a Senior Lecturer in strategy at the University of Chichester having previously held academic roles with Cass Business School and London Metropolitan University. Rob’s particular area of interest is the role of narrative in organisations and personal development and how this might be used to explore reflexivity, complexity and power in groups. More information can be found in his 2013 book The Social Development of Leadership and Knowledge he wrote with Douglas Board.