95CB3BD9d01 - Public Trust Running Head: PUBLIC TRUST IN...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Public Trust 1 Running Head: PUBLIC TRUST IN GOVERNMENT AGENCIES Public Trust in Government Agencies: Basic Conceptual Considerations Seok-Eun Kim Doctoral Candidate Doctor of Public Administration Program The University of Georgia 103 College Station Rd. B-203 Athens, GA 30605 (706) 548-7552 (H) (706) 542-9735 (O) (706) 542-9714 (F) seokeun@hotmail.com Acknowledgements The author would like to thank Robert T. Golembiewski for his valuable comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Public Trust 2 American government has been suffering from a deficit of public trust. In the 1960s, approximately 7 out of 10 Americans trusted government to “do the right thing” (Nye, 1997). Since then, the level of trust in government has generally declined, especially through the Vietnam and Watergate periods. The trend was halted briefly during the Reagan era, but soon rebounded with public disillusionment over the Iran- Contra scandal. Trust in government has fluctuated thereafter but continues to haunt the public’s mind as a major problem of democratic governance (Panel on Civic Trust and Citizen Responsibility, 1999; Pew Research Center for The People & The Press, 1998). Public distrust in government is nothing new, however, and was even considered desirable. Thus, some scholars have addressed a fundamental inquiry into the problem of trust in government. The American system was founded upon a distrust in government that dates back to the early revolutionary days. Fear of possible abuses of power, shared by the public and the elite, led to the adoption of separation of powers as well as an elaborate system of checks and balances designed to protect rights at the expense of efficient government operations. Simply put, American government is not designed to optimize performance, but rather to inhibit it (Thompson, 1993). Nevertheless, many want the best of all possible worlds, and today the public tends to demand higher quality services from government. The public’s demands on government are not modest. People claim that government should provide higher quality education systems, health care services, and safer living environments. They often ask government to perform tasks that are beyond its real competence. As a consequence, public employees are likely to be seen as incompetent, wasteful, dishonest, and
Background image of page 2
Public Trust 3 untrustworthy, and the gap between the public’s expectations for the government and the government’s performance has widened (Lipset & Schneider, 1987). This widening trust gap and its impact on government performance is both consequential and severe. At the micro-organizational level, low trust tends to create conflict, interrupt communication, and impede cooperation between employers and employees in the workplace. In the organization, authoritarian control dominates the employer-employee relationships, reducing employee participation, the degree of discretion which employees exercise over their work, and their marshalling of creative
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 04/05/2010 for the course POL 3232 taught by Professor What during the Spring '10 term at Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Page1 / 35

95CB3BD9d01 - Public Trust Running Head: PUBLIC TRUST IN...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online