On the nexus of organizations and professions: Networking through trust

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This paper examines new dimensions of professional-organizational relations through the concept of trust. It develops the argument that trust exists among similar professionals because of many common denominators that lubricate their intra- and interorganizational collaborations. Therefore, professionals have the ability to conduct efficient transactions that reduce the need for formal monitoring systems and costly contractual agreements. These efficiencies in turn contribute to organizational goals of efficiency, flexibility, and legitimacy because they reduce organizational costs, increase organizational learning, allow for faster organizational adjustment to environmental changes, and accommodate professionals' desire for sovereignty. Concomitantly, professionals impose their own needs for autonomy on organizations. Consequently, professionals both impel the creation of new organizational forms, and contribute to the efficiency of these forms. In particular, three such forms - flat structures, hypertext organizations, and network forms - are facilitated and engendered by professionals.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)227-245
Number of pages19
JournalSociological Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997


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