Trust and the Overlapping Consensus (Symposium: John Rawls's Political Liberalism)

Lawrence E. Mitchell, Case Western University School of Law


While economic relations are highly motivated by self-interest, successful team production requires trust and cannot be understood in economic terms alone. Drawing upon scholarship in social psychology, organizational behavior, economics, and philosophy, this article investigates the role of trust at three levels: inter-firm cooperation, the governance of a single corporation, and the management of production within a single corporation. The author argues that trust is important in team production at all these levels and that the degree of trust at each level is interdependent on the degree of trust at the other levels.