Journal of Business Ethics 122 (2):321-341 (2014)

In Britain, substantial cuts in police budgets alongside controversial handling of incidents such as politically sensitive enquiries, public disorder and relations with the media have recently triggered much debate about public knowledge and trust in the police. To date, however, little academic research has investigated how knowledge of police performance impacts citizens’ trust. We address this long-standing lacuna by exploring citizens’ trust before and after exposure to real performance data in the context of a British police force. The results reveal that being informed of performance data affects citizens’ trust significantly. Furthermore, direction and degree of change in trust are related to variations across the different elements of the reported performance criteria. Interestingly, the volatility of citizens’ trust is related to initial performance perceptions, and citizens’ intentions to support the police do not always correlate with their cognitive and affective trust towards the police. In discussing our findings, we explore the implications of how being transparent with performance data can both hinder and be helpful in developing citizens’ trust towards a public organisation such as the police. From our study, we pose a number of ethical challenges that practitioners face when deciding what data to highlight, to whom, and for what purpose.
Keywords Public sector  Trust  Performance  Transparency  New public management  Stakeholder relationships  Corporate responsibility
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-013-1702-6
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,337
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Halo Effect: Evidence for Unconscious Alteration of Judgments.Richard E. Nisbett & Timothy D. Wilson - 1977 - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 35 (4):250-256.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Trust, Reputation and Corporate Accountability to Stakeholders.Tracey Swift - 2001 - Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility 10 (1):16–26.
Transparency Rights, Technology, and Trust.John Elia - 2009 - Ethics and Information Technology 11 (2):145-153.
Internal Corporate Governance and Personal Trust.Deon Rossouw - 2009 - African Journal of Business Ethics 4 (1):37.
Hype and Public Trust in Science.Zubin Master & David B. Resnik - 2013 - Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (2):321-335.


Added to PP index

Total views
14 ( #732,420 of 2,507,896 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,715 of 2,507,896 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes