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Leading Public Organizations

Leading Public Organizations

When it comes to building good relationships among organizations, one of the key elements is trust. A common definition of trust is the inclination to agree to be vulnerable based upon optimistic anticipations of someone else’s actions. In building relationships between organizations, it is vital that they trust each other; otherwise, no trust means no interaction will occur in fear of betrayal. There must be trust for an organization to have a good relationship with another organization. This implies that both organizations know each other to be competent, reliable, honest, and ethical, and have common goals and shared values (Linzer et al., 2021). Further, no organization is willing to risk its money, resources, or reputation, among others, by associating itself with a questionable organization. Moreover, the creation of trust boosts the performance of the said organization. Consistently, betrayals can have adverse consequences like major financial losses.

A positive example of an organizational relationship based on trust is between NASA and Space X. Since 2008, both companies have been renewing their contracts with each other because, as mentioned above, they share common goals (Mann, 2020). In their goal of space exploration and commercial spacecraft, NASA brings operational experience, while Space X brings innovation. However, both organizations are very different from each other. Elon Musk’s philosophy, for example, is all about learning through mistakes. NASA’s philosophy, on the other hand, is based on Gene Kranz’s memoir, Failure is Not an Option. Despite their opposing philosophies, it is clear that both companies trust each other because they continue to renew their contracts.

A negative example of organizations lacking trust is the famous case of the blood testing company Theranos. Accordingly, the CEO of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, was dishonest with her investors about her innovation from the beginning. As such, the investors’ money put into her company was all lost when the truth came to light about her fraudulent actions (Straker, Peel, Nusem, & Wrigley, 2021). While the investors did trust Theranos, this trust was not reciprocated, and this betrayal cost them millions of dollars.


Linzer, M., Neprash, H., Brown, R., Williams, E., Audi, C., Poplau, S., … & Healthy Work Place Investigators. (2021). Where trust flourishes: perceptions of clinicians who trust their organizations and are trusted by their patients. The Annals of Family Medicine, 19(6), 521-526.

Mann, A. (2020). Crewed launch deepens ties between NASA and SpaceX.

Straker, K., Peel, S., Nusem, E., & Wrigley, C. (2021). Designing a dangerous unicorn: Lessons from the Theranos case. Business Horizons, 64(4), 525-536.


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Explain why trust represents an important ingredient in building relationships between organizations.

Leading Public Organizations

Leading Public Organizations

Give positive and negative examples.

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