An asset for research on digitization and trust
Trust, the loss of trust in particular, has become a topic of very intensive public discussion in recent years. Scepticism towards established social institutions and actors in business, politics, the media and academia can be seen to be growing. Digitization has led to a greater public expression of mistrust towards individuals and organisations than before. At the same time, digital forms of communication open up new opportunities for building trust.
The Research Training Group “Trust and Communication in a Digitized World”, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), has accompanied this process since 2012. The researchers involved have investigated how trust may be established, developed and maintained under digital conditions in the fields of economy, sports, science and the media. The research projects dealt with theoretical and conceptual principles of trust and mistrust research as well as specific application areas of trust communication and methodological problems of research. In addition to the numerous scientific publications and conference contributions, the Research Training Group has also worked intensively on disseminating its findings outside the scientific communities. Results were presented in an exhibition as well as in schools, academies and at workshops. Broadcast, print and digital media have reported on the research.
Dissertation prizes and awards document the professional recognition of the scientific achievements. The interdisciplinary work in the Research Training Group – in which researchers from Communication, Psychology, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Business and Economics and Information Systems worked collaboratively – was always a great challenge. However, it contributed significantly to broadening disciplinary perspectives and creating a win-win situation.
Great thanks for their various support go to the DFG, the University of Münster and the participating faculties and institutes, as well as to the researchers who developed the research program and shaped it over many years, and to the people who reliably provided for scientific coordination, public relations and administration. Above all, however, a big thank you goes to the PhD students who have enormously enriched research on trust and digitization with their PhD projects.
Prof. Dr. Bernd Blöbaum
(Speaker of the Research Training Group)