Late Autumn School 2018

Trust in the Digital Age

The interdisciplinary DFG Research Training Group ”Trust and Communication in a Digitized World“ at the University of Münster is organizing

an interdisciplinary, international Late Autumn School on
“Trust in the Digital Age”
from 15th until 16th of November, 2018.


Under the theme “Trust in the Digital Age” we aim at discussing the role of trust in modern societies that are marked by an increasing digitization. We invite applications from a diversity of disciplinary perspectives – for instance from communication science, psychology, economics, information systems and sport & exercise sciences and further related fields of research.

On the one hand, digitization implies the reliance on and integration of digital technologies in more and more areas of life – from artificial intelligence in self-driving cars, algorithm-based decision-making on the managerial level to social media platforms in the consumption of news media content. With their far-reaching embedding in people’s everyday life, the question arises in how far people trust modern technologies that are increasingly shaping their working routines, their social relations or their connections to a public world among many other things. This implies a focus not only on trust in the technology itself, but also means addressing the role of trust in the social processes that evolve when technologies are integrated into organizational structures or when people appropriate technologies in their everyday routines.

On the other hand, a focus on technological transformations should not come at the price of neglecting the role of persistence and durability in digitized societies. While change is happening rapidly in some areas, others remain untouched. That is why work on the notion of trust beyond the rapidly changing phenomena in digitized societies remains equally important. Therefore, we also invite contributions addressing on a theoretical, conceptual but also empirical level the role of trust, distrust and risk in organizations.

In order to reflect on these two perspectives on trust in the digital age, we aim to discuss the operationalization of trust in technology, its emergence and development, the humanness of technologies and whether or not it is possible to trust technologies. Furthermore, we address conceptual work on the role of trust in interpersonal relations, within organizations and in societal institutions as well as reflections on trust in scientific discourses.


International researchers will join the Late Autumn School as keynote speakers:

Prof. Dr. Harrison McKnight
Professor for Accounting & Information Systems
Michigan State University, USA

Harrison McKnight is a leading researcher in the area of trust in technology. His research integrates internationally acknowledged theories on trust and the use of specific information systems. His work covers trust in various software applications, social media networks, and new technologies such as self-driving cars and has been published in such journals as MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, Journal of Management Information Systems, and the Academy of Management Review.

Dr. Zlatka Pavlova
Faculty III “Media, Information and Design”
University of Applied Sciences Hannover, Germany

As a communication researcher Zlatka Pavlova addresses trust in organizations through system and consciousness theories, providing new recognitions on the actual purpose of trust for organizations as an essential mechanism for an organizations’ continued existence. Her approach is not offering practical solutions for organizations, but instead is reflecting on the often normative and exploitative definition of trust in science and practical discourses.

Late Autumn School

Here you can read a short release from the Late Autumn School in 2018.

Here you can read a short release from the Late Autumn School in 2017.