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Institutional Trust, Fairness and Leadership

Zsolt Boda’s paper “Institutional Trust, Fairness and Leadership—the Right Way to Effectiveness” was published in the book “Responsibility, Deep Ecology and the Self—Festschrift in Honor of Knut J. Ims” (2011. Oslo, Forlag).

Boda interprets sincerity in communicating as an ethical norm and argues that it is a precondition for building trust. While politicians or corporate leaders often seem to believe that disclosing too much information or unveiling their true intentions might make them weaker, sometimes the opposite may be the case. Valid and fair communication can create trust that increases allegiance towards decision-makers. Trust also increases the willingness of citizens to cooperate with authorities which makes policy implementation easier. The paper argues that a lack of sincerity in a leader’s communication undermines perceptions of fairness, which, in turn, has a negative impact on the leadership potential of a manager or politician.