Building Trust and Respecting Suspicion

Regina F. Bendix, Kilian Bizer and Dorothy Noyes

in Sustaining Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Published by University of Illinois Press

Published in print April 2017 | ISBN: 9780252040894
Published online September 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780252099397 | DOI:
Building Trust and Respecting Suspicion

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Interdisciplinary success depends on participant willingness to take intellectual and professional risks. This chapter applies economistic accounts of trust and risk to the academic marketplace, with attention to inequality and differential identity. The economist's game experiments provide a productive analogy for the interdisciplinary project, a similarly reduced and temporary situation, though with real assets risked and payoffs envisioned. In the opening stages of a project, differences of disposition become apparent, heightening both social and intellectual suspicion. But the legitimate academic ethos of suspicion--taking no idea unexamined, including the slogan-concept of trust itself--must be balanced with a leap of faith in collaboration. Shared time, sociability, and explicit commitments can cultivate interpersonal trust that will increase risk tolerance at the higher levels.

Keywords: interdisciplinarity; academic marketplace; trust; suspicion; game theory; risk-taking; sociability

Chapter.  5981 words. 

Subjects: Higher and Further Education

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