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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Evelien van der Schee, Peter P. Groenewegen and Roland D. Friele

If public trust in health care is to be used as a performance indicator for health care systems, its measurement has to be sensitive to changes in the health care system…

1867

Abstract

Purpose

If public trust in health care is to be used as a performance indicator for health care systems, its measurement has to be sensitive to changes in the health care system. For this purpose, this study has monitored public trust in health care in The Netherlands over an eight‐year period, from 1997 to 2004. The study expected to find a decrease in public trust, with a low point in 2002.

Design/methodology/approach

Since 1997, public trust in health care was measured through postal questionnaires to the “health care consumer panel”. This panel consists of approximately 1,500 households and forms a representative sample of the Dutch population.

Findings

Trust in health care and trust in hospitals did not show any significant trend. Trust in medical specialists displayed an upward trend. Trust in future health care, trust in five out of six dimensions of health care and trust in general practitioners actually did show a decrease. However, only for trust in macro level policies and trust in professional expertise this trend continued. For the remaining trust objects, after 1999 or 2000, an upward trend set in.

Research implications/limitations

No support was found for our overall assumption. Explanations for the fact that trust did increase after 1999 or 2000 are difficult to find. On the basis of these findings the study questions whether the measure of public trust is sensitive enough to provide information on the performance of the health care system.

Originality/value

The aim of this research is to study public trust in health care on its abilities to be used as a performance indicator for health care systems.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 23 February 2022

Jacob Torfing and Tina Øllgaard Bentzen

Denmark is characterised by high levels of trust between citizens and public authorities as well as between public leaders and employees, providing a comparative advantage…

Abstract

Denmark is characterised by high levels of trust between citizens and public authorities as well as between public leaders and employees, providing a comparative advantage when it comes to expanding public welfare, enhancing economic performance and handling a crisis like COVID-19. Public governance, however, requires a delicate balance between trust and the legitimate need for control to secure accountability This chapter explains how the high levels of trust in the Danish public sector are wedded to a pragmatic combination of various public governance paradigms, which has produced a ‘hybrid governance system’ balancing the legitimate demand for control with widespread trust in public employees. Traditional Weberian bureaucratic values of regularity, impartiality and expertise are combined with a limited and selective introduction of New Public Management reforms. Simultaneously, a dynamic neo-Weberian state works to satisfy an increasingly demanding citizenry while new platforms for developing collaborative solutions to complex problems are designed and developed at the municipal level. This hybrid governance system produces a virtuous circle of trust sustained by trust-based systems of evaluation, assessment and accountability developed in close dialogue between public managers and employees. The chapter demonstrates how a long-lasting political-administrative culture based on trust and a pragmatic, non-ideological combination of different governance paradigms has generated a positive trustpublic governance feedback loop. Striking the right control‒trust balance remains a continual challenge, however, to avoid governance failures eroding citizen trust in the public sector and to safeguard public values of transparency, accountability and performance.

Book part
Publication date: 4 August 2008

Masao Kikuchi

The decline of trust in government has been a critical issue in many parts of the world. Various surveys have indicated that the public cast suspicious eyes on their…

Abstract

The decline of trust in government has been a critical issue in many parts of the world. Various surveys have indicated that the public cast suspicious eyes on their government and become less trustful of performance of their public sector. The OECD labels trust in government as a fundamental element of the democratic “contract,” while its decline may have significant impacts on government activities. Likewise, the UN also refers to trust as the foundation for good governance; therefore, improving trust would help strengthen sound governance in any polity. As these examples demonstrate, trust in government has increasingly become a central concern for government reformers.

In Japan, for a long time, bureaucrats have been perceived to be trustful social agents and they have enjoyed more confidence than those of party members. However, a series of scandals involving high-ranking bureaucrats, in addition to several policy failures and severe financial difficulties, have deteriorated the trustful image of Japanese public officials. Confronted with the problem, both central and local governments in Japan have attempted to improve their public perceptions and tried to rebuild trust in government by resorting to various types of administrative reform. However, the identification of reasons for the decline of public trust in government appear an awesome task and hard to come. While some of the reforms have helped contributed rebuilding trust, others have further eroded the level of government confidence.

Against these backgrounds, the chapter aims to show the current level of trust in government, specifically in Japan. It tries to assess government efforts of rebuilding trust by discussing different government reforms at both the central and the local levels.

Details

Comparative Governance Reform in Asia: Democracy, Corruption, and Government Trust
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84663-996-8

Book part
Publication date: 26 September 2022

Tawanda Nyikadzino and Natasha Mataire

One of the critical challenges confronting the Government of Zimbabwe in disaster management is the dearth of public trust. Public trust is an indispensable governance…

Abstract

One of the critical challenges confronting the Government of Zimbabwe in disaster management is the dearth of public trust. Public trust is an indispensable governance component as it promotes public participation and support. It is even more important in times of crises where cooperative, collaborative and comprehensive approaches are required. The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 30 January 2020, is a classic example of a wicked problem that requires public trust in containing it. In Zimbabwe, the government declared the pandemic a national disaster on 17 March 2020; thereafter, it adopted and administered different policy instruments ranging from sermons to sticks to contain the pandemic. Using desktop and secondary data, this chapter argues that the lack of public trust significantly hampered the Government of Zimbabwe's response to the pandemic. Rather than building back the lost public trust, factors such as lack of transparency and accountability, incapacitation, unethical conduct, a heavy-handed approach and lack of meaningful government support further broke the already fragile social contract and public trust. The chapter recommends the need for the strengthening of transparency, accountability, public engagement and effective communication as important strategies for rebuilding public trust.

Details

Responsible Management of Shifts in Work Modes – Values for a Post Pandemic Future, Volume 1
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-720-6

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 October 2020

Chiara Valentini

During the past few years, public trust in organisations, institutions and systems has decreased. Trust is an important antecedent not only for relationship-building but…

1060

Abstract

Purpose

During the past few years, public trust in organisations, institutions and systems has decreased. Trust is an important antecedent not only for relationship-building but also for image and reputation management. This study aims to systematically review scientific publications on public relations and trust to explore the current status of trust research, including its conceptual definition, measurement and theorisation.

Design/methodology/approach

Only English-language scientific papers published in key public relations journals were analysed. Titles, abstracts and keywords were searched with the terms “public relations” and/or “strategic communication” and/or “communication management” and “trust”, returning 254 discrete articles. Quantitative content analysis and thematic analysis were used to extract information.

Findings

Trust research has limited methodological and intellectual diversity. Most studies have been published by North American scholars using surveys and interviews as the primary methods, and most are positioned within the public relations literature. One-third of papers do not use any specific theory to define trust, and about 13% of those in which trust is a central element do not refer to any conceptual foundation. The majority of papers are centred on professional and managerial problems, with limited discussion of publics/stakeholders' or societal problems.

Originality/value

This study offers important information about the development of trust research in public relations and sheds light on current knowledge gaps that can inform future research.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

DeMond Shondell Miller

The purpose of this paper is to analyze public trust during the aftermath of technological and hybrid natural-technological/natech disasters – Hurricane Katrina (2005) and…

1865

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze public trust during the aftermath of technological and hybrid natural-technological/natech disasters – Hurricane Katrina (2005) and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown in Japan (2011). The work identifies common themes, actions and inactivity that can lead to citizens distrusting the government after disasters.

Design/methodology/approach

News reports from the two areas leading newspapers formed the body of the Hurricane Katrina and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown case studies. Of key interest were emerging themes of trust and/or distrust during the immediate impact phase of the disaster in addition to government failures and social breakdowns resulting in a loss of trust in government institutions and individual leaders.

Findings

The series of examples illustrate how specific action or in-action by local and federal governments served as a catalyst for a loss of trust in government institutions and individual leaders in government while proposing potential strategies to help public leaders reduce distrust during times of crisis.

Research limitations/implications

The two limitations were the use of only newspapers and the passage of a new law in 2013, the “Specially Designated Secrets Protection Law,” designed to limit news reporting of the press in Japan on the issue of nuclear radiation exposure of the general public in Japan, some of the new data are not available.

Practical implications

The research concludes by offering specific ways to regain trust after a perception of failure during pre- and post-disaster management in the age of mega disasters. The paper lists several recommendations that can be practically implemented to develop a culture of transparent communication, civic engagement in planning processes and inspire trust among stakeholders.

Originality/value

While the paper identifies barriers to establishing trust among government agencies, the citizenry and private industry, it seeks to help inform policy frameworks regarding the importance of the government’s ability to sustain a strong sense of trust that engenders civic participation in preserving or regaining trust in the aftermath of disasters.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 36 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 November 2011

Jens Seiffert, Günter Bentele and Lars Mende

The article seeks to present first findings regarding the nature of discrepancies in communication and action and draws conclusions to induce further research. Although…

Abstract

Purpose

The article seeks to present first findings regarding the nature of discrepancies in communication and action and draws conclusions to induce further research. Although (internationally) operating organisations are far too complex to avoid discrepancies at all in corporate communication and action, monitoring discrepancies and developing strategies to deal with them, can be a contributing factor in avoiding losses of public trust or public trust crises.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on the theory of public trust and the ongoing corporate trust study conducted by the University of Leipzig and PMG Presse Monitor GmbH, the authors designed a content analytical study researching the role of discrepancies in the process of public trust.

Findings

Owing to the nature of the mass media system and the public sphere emerging out of it, discrepancies start to unfold their effect when crossing the barrier of publics awareness. The upcoming of a large number of discrepancies within a short period of time, and their remainder in the public conciousness for a certain period, makes it more likely that the issue which is subject to the discrepancies is going to be discussed in the public arena and leads to a change in the behavior of the audience and the environment of the organizational system.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the nature of content analysis, only published public trust was researched. Researching public trust would have meant using a survey design, which has to be done in future research.

Practical implications

The study suggests three steps, monitoring and distinction of, and focussing on discrepancies in order to organize corporate communications more effectively.

Originality/value

This study is the first study researching the role of discrepancies in the process of losing/gaining public trust/confidence, regarding organizations in economy.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 28 October 2020

Mensur Zeqiri

This study seeks to provide further testing of access in the context of government – community relations within the political context of the Republic of North Macedonia…

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to provide further testing of access in the context of government – community relations within the political context of the Republic of North Macedonia. The study analyses relationship cultivation strategy of access and explains how it contributes to achieving trust and relationship satisfaction in government–community relations. This paper also provides insights into the importance of access to achieving positive government–community relations based on mutual trust and satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

For this research, a qualitative inquiry was conducted, and qualitative in-depth interviewing was used as the main research method. In total, 39 interviews were conducted: 12 interviews with Macedonian civil servants, eight interviews with Albanian civil servants and 19 interviews with Albanians.

Findings

The findings of this study showed citizens not to have enough access to government and its institutions. Besides, the results showed access to be crucial to building positive government–community relations based on mutual trust and satisfaction. In particular, discrimination and social distance were crucial in building trust between government and citizens.

Originality/value

The study provided evidence on the importance and contribution of the cultivation strategy of access to government-community relationships in general and to the relational outcomes of trust and satisfaction in particular. The findings supported the initial assumptions that access constitutes an important factor in predicting the government–community relationship quality.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Barrie Gunter

Television has long been cited by viewers as their primary and most trusted source of news, especially in relation to news of national and international affairs. Aims to…

3372

Abstract

Purpose

Television has long been cited by viewers as their primary and most trusted source of news, especially in relation to news of national and international affairs. Aims to explore the issue of trust in the television news.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper combines narrative and analysis. Questions whether public trust in the BBC was damaged by the Hutton inquiry: would the BBC's reputation as the nation's premier news service be tarnished in the longer‐term and had public trust in journalism been severely compromised.

Findings

Events that followed the transmission of a report about the veracity of the government's case for going to war carried by a BBC radio news broadcast on 29 May 2003 called into question the Corporation's competence as a reliable news provider. The story alleged that an informed source had told BBC correspondent Andrew Gilligan that the government had exaggerated the immediacy of dangers posed to the west by Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction. The source who was eventually exposed was a Ministry of Defence expert on Iraq, Dr David Kelly, who later killed himself. The Prime Minister ordered a public inquiry into Dr Kelly's death, led by Lord Hutton, who severely criticised the competence of the BBC's senior management and the quality of its journalism practices. These conclusions prompted the resignation of the Corporation's Chairman and Director General. Hutton's findings had wider implications for the future governance of the BBC and invoked far‐reaching questions about the trust that the public could place in journalism. The evidence indicates that while the public felt that the BBC had been culpable for failing to launch its own internal inquiry into the Gilligan report, the public perceived this incident as a one‐off aberration rather than as being symptomatic of some wider malaise. Indeed, the Hutton inquiry had impacted more upon public trust in the government and led people to question the independence of the Hutton inquiry.

Practical implications

While trust in journalists is far from universal, the public differentiate among journalists in terms of the news organisations they work for. Among these, the BBC remains one of the most widely trusted.

Originality/value

An exploration of the issue of trust in the television news following the Dr David Kelly/Andrew Gilligan report on “The Today Programme” and subsequent Hutton enquiry.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 57 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 October 2010

Ari Salminen and Rinna Ikola‐Norrbacka

The purpose of this paper is to present an empirical study and contribute to the discussion of administrative ethics and integrity by investigating three ethical issues…

5658

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an empirical study and contribute to the discussion of administrative ethics and integrity by investigating three ethical issues, namely trust, good governance and unethical actions in the Finnish public administration.

Design/methodology/approach

The evidence of this research is based on empirical data from a National Citizen Survey implemented in 2008 by the University of Vaasa. The questionnaire was sent to 5,000 Finnish citizens and the response rate was 40.4 percent.

Findings

The strength of the Finnish society concerning trust is that the citizens feel confident in public sector organizations and societal institutions. Even though serious corruption cases have remained few in Finland, there is still work to do in order to keep the situation under control. Ignorant and bad treatment of citizens occurs mostly in individual service encounters, it does not reflect the whole of the ethics of administration.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed in order to investigate the societal background factors that can explain the different findings from the research questions. Also further research is required for comparing the results of different countries.

Practical implications

Strengths and weaknesses are identified as a tool for further research and for the work for practitioners.

Originality/value

The core contribution of the paper is a contribution to knowledge concerning citizens' perceptions of trust, good governance and unethical actions in an egalitarian society.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 23 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 85000