Trust in public professionals and their professions

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This chapter focuses on trust in public professionals and their profession. It presents the results from a semi-systematic literature review and finds that there are two patterns for how the relationship between professionals and their employers and regulators has evolved over the past decades. The first pattern is the relationship between public professionals and their managers, employers and regulators is seen as an adversarial struggle: it is professional autonomy versus managerial control. The second pattern is more collaborative pattern; people see practices emerging where professional autonomy is felt to be present together with increased managerial control. Empirical research into trust relations between professional workers and their manager, employer and regulators is scattered across many different academic fields and, as a consequence, across many publication outlets. Public professions are trusted to organize their own professional controls in order to safeguard their unique expert knowledge and their commitment to public service and societal values.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Compendium to Trust
EditorsRosalinde Searle, Ann-Marie Nienaber, Sim Sitkin
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781315745572, 9781317595717
ISBN (Print)9781138817593
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Publication series

NameRoutledge Companions in Business, Management and Accounting


  • Trust
  • professions
  • public professionals


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