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Jungho Park, Seyeong Cha and Tobin Im. (2014) Public Officials’ Trust in Other Agencies and Citizens: The Role of Communication in Local Government in South Korea. Korean Society and Public Administration 24(4). 109-131
As the concept of trust becomes a full-fledged theme in various social sciences, confusion regarding its definition, dimensions, and usages has also surged. Despite the increasing attention paid to the importance of trust in public organizations for effective public-service delivery in the context of complex interplay of multiple agencies, relatively little attention has been paid to the conceptual components and antecedents of trust at the level of the public official. Bearing this point in mind, this research begins from a question about how public officials’ interactions with citizens and other agencies affect the level of trust at the individual level. Specifically, this research primarily aims to examine the effects of public officials’ communication with various type of actors and organizations on trust. For this purpose, this study employs ordinary least squares and random effect models in order to control unobserved effects resulting from the characteristics of 213 different offices at the local government level. The analysis indicates that the more opportunities that public officials have to communicate with citizens and other agencies, the more they are able to build trust. Specifically, enhanced communication, both between the various layers of government agencies, and between government and citizens tends to play a positive role in building of constructive interactions between central and local government and between local governments. Moreover, public officials’ interactions with citizens, as an antecedent of trust, can affect public officials’ general attitudes toward citizen participation in various areas of public administration based on mutual trust.
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