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Trust in the Balance: Building Successful Organizations on Results, Integrity and Concern Paperback – 11 Mar 1997

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"I believe there′s no neutrality in business (for example, you′re either gaining market share or losing it). Likewise, your business success is either enhanced by trust or held back by distrust. Robert Shaw gives conviction and advice to the leader who recognizes that trust becomes a performance multiplier only when the leader is prepared to go first." ––Craig E. Weatherup, CEO, Pepsi–Cola Company "Trust in the Balance is an absorbing discussion of our desperate need to attAnd to the human necessity to feel safe within and without organizations. Shaw has produced an extremely readable and practical guide to paving a trail of trust into the twenty–first century." ––Jim Kouzes, coauthor, The Leadership Challenge and Credibility, and chairman and CEO, TPG/Learning Systems "The relationship between organization effectiveness and organization climate is a major issue for leaders and culture setters. Robert Shaw has pinpointed the essential linchpin––trust. His practical yet profound guide on how to develop and maintain a high–trust organization will be a welcome addition to any manager′s bookshelf." ––Richard Beckhard , coeditor, The Organization of the Future, and principal, Beckhard Associates "Trust is a critical component in managing change and executing strategy, both so necessary to driving bottom–line results. The dilemma for managers at all levels is that when we need more trust in our organizations to achieve our goals, we are experiencing a loss of trust. Trust in the Balance is a must–read for managers and leaders who want to better understand how to build trust in their organizations and achieve a stronger bottom–line performance." ––Eileen Kraus, chairman, Fleet Bank Connecticut

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Unlike most discussions about trust, Robert Shaw moves past ?the right thing to do? argument and focuses on trust as a critical, hard–edged issue that successful managers cannot afford to take for granted. He shows how lack of trust is compromising more and more organizations in today′s highly competitive business environment.This engaging book describes how to design organizations that promote a high level of trust. Drawing on a variety of examples from real business situations, Shaw explains trust′s increasing importance at four key levels: individual credibility, one–to–one collaboration, team effectiveness, and organizational vitality.Shaw′s high trust design is based on two critical rules: trust must have checks and balances, and top management leadership is essential for trust to spread throughout the organization.Championing the notion of mutual interdepAndence based on trust, Shaw′s model will be especially helpful for multinational companies and virtual organizations that have complex, loosely coupled, and constantly revolving networks of individuals and teams.If you′ve never examined how trust affects your organization, maybe you should. In this engaging book, Robert Shaw moves past the "right thing to do" argument and focuses on trust as a critical issue successful managers cannot take for granted. He shows how lack of trust is compromising more and more organizations in today′s highly competitive environment. And he offers a way out. A vital handbook for leaders, change agents, and anyone interested in building high trust for high performance.

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The reality of today's business environment is clear: embrace change or die. Read the first page
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Clear, Interesting and Practical 30 July 2000
By Michael Wade - Published on
Format: Paperback
Robert Bruce Shaw addresses an issue that is often either neglected or handled with bromides. To its credit, Shaw's book does not overpromise by announcing a magical ten day program to restore trust. Instead, it provides an interesting variety of examples and succinctly shows how the organizations that have succeeded in establishing high levels of trust differ from their less adept colleagues. While doing so, Shaw does not engage in preachy denunciations. The overall tone of the book emphasizes creating solutions rather than affixing blame.
In that spirit, "Trust in the Balance" contains surveys of the key factors affecting trust in the workplace; surveys that can be easily used by the reader to spot problems in his or her organization. Each chapter has meaty analysis and specific guidance on the steps that should be taken to address particular trust problems. There is also a helpful "Trust-Building Resources" section in the back of the book.
One is fortunate to glean one good idea from many business books. Shaw's book contains many excellent points and observations. Anyone seeking a no-nonsense analysis of how to handle the "trust issue" should read this book. It will be well worth your time.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The business case for trust 12 July 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We talk a lot about "trust" in my organization, but it's always in vague terms. You get the feeling that everyone has their own definition, which they assume everyone shares. This book breaks trust down into easily understood components, makes a bottom-line business case for improving your relationships in the workplace, and then helps you do just that. It focuses on behaviors, not motivations, and therefore gives you a framework for talking about trust without accusing or blaming. It's one of the most useful business books I've read in a long time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Trust has replaced loyalty as the primary bond within organizations 19 Sept. 2012
By Robert Wickman - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Trust in organizations is growing increasingly rare. With so many business closures, massive layoffs, financial scandals, ethics violations, and brazen executive failures, trust is pretty hard to come by. So how do businesses regain the trust of their employees and communities? The author, Robert Shaw, has some good advice on what can be done. With a PhD. From Yale University and dozens of years consulting to Fortune 500 companies, he's been through enough to be considered an expert on the subject. The bonus for everyone is that he shares much of his wisdom with us in Trust in the Balance, so that we don't have to make the same mistakes.

Shaw's writing style is clean and easy to follow. The book is laid out well, with great examples and tools for executive teams to use in their companies. He clearly describes what his experience and research has concluded - that organizational trust is anchored on three imperatives: results, integrity, and concern. It is through these that great leaderships and great organizations design are used to achieve great results.

I like the book for several reasons: it addresses change management, teams, leadership issues, ethics, and hiring practices. All areas where trust can be earned or lost. You would consider reading this book if you have a need in any one of these areas for your organization. The book as a detailed trust assessment survey, as well as a Leadership Survey. Both can be used to understand where your organization is now, and begin the process of improvement. In the area of improvement, Shaw provides great examples of how to regain trust if it is low or lost. And given the nature of our highly competitive global business environment, Shaw goes so far as to declare that "trust will replace loyalty as the primary bond within organizations". I think he's right, considering that lifetime employment contracts are dead.

If you are blessed enough to work in a high-trust organization, this book will serve you well in learning how to capitalize on trust to create collaborative capital. If you work in a low-trust company, Trust in the Balance will show you what works (and what does not) to rebuild the trust needed to survive in today's constantly changing business environment.
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