Affiliated Organization

Case Western Reserve University, USA


Building on the theory of swift trust, we empirically examine the dynamic nature of trust and its changing patterns in both cognitive and affective elements between high- and low-performing teams over time (early, middle, and late stages of project). Using data from 38, four-person student teams from six universities competing in a web-based business simulation game over eight-week periods, we found that both high- and low-performing teams started with similar levels of trust in both cognitive and affective dimensions. However, high-performing teams were better at developing and maintaining the trust level throughout the project life. Moreover, virtual teams relied more on a cognitive than an affective element of trust. These findings provide a preliminary step toward understanding the dynamic nature and relative importance of cognition- and affect-based trust over time.